Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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Rio Rancho, NM 87124

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At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?

Posted by Dr. Jorgensen on June 11th, 2012

Pulled a Baby ToothMany parents worry that their children’s teeth are not falling out on time. At what age should the first baby tooth be lost? When should the last one fall out? Is there a predictable order?

The first baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) to come in are usually the lower central incisors around the age of six months. The last baby teeth to show up are the upper second primary molars, and they appear between 30 and 36 months of age. There are normally 20 baby teeth by the time a child reaches age 3. These primary teeth then remain unchanged for about three years.

primary teeth eruption chartNot much happens to the baby teeth between 3 and 6 years of age. Between 6 and 8 years however, there is a flurry of activity as kids normally lose eight primary teeth in rapid succession. Between age 8 and age 10 there is another two-year pause that catches many parents by surprise since they have become accustomed to teeth being lost left and right. The last twelve primary teeth are then lost between ages 10 and 13. The following chart summarizes primary tooth loss:

Ages 3-6: Not much happens
Ages 6-8: First eight baby teeth lost
Ages 8-10: Not much happens
Ages 10-13: Last twelve baby teeth lost

Although there are always exceptions, there is a basic sequence for the loss of the baby teeth. The upper and lower front four teeth are usually lost between the ages of 6 and 8. This typically begins around age 6 with the lower central incisors followed by the upper central incisors. The upper and lower lateral incisors then come in between 7 and 8. So by age 8, children should have all eight of their permanent incisors in place.

After a two-year break (about age 10), the next four baby teeth to be lost are the lower canines and upper first molars. These are typically followed around age 11 by the lower first molars. The lower second molars tend to be lost about the same time as the upper canines and second molars. This usually happens in the 12th year. In summary, here is the order in which baby teeth are normally lost:

Age 6: Lower and upper central incisors
Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors
Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars
Age 11: Lower first molars
Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines

These are merely averages however. Some kids lose teeth faster than this. Others lose them slower. It is not unusual to see a 10-year-old with no baby teeth remaining, nor is it surprising to see a 14-year-old still hanging on to a few. The actual ages are not as important as the pattern.

If baby teeth are not lost in the right order, or if a tooth is lost and more than three months go by without a permanent replacement coming in, there may a problem. Some possibilities include missing teeth, crowding, problems with the tooth loss mechanism, or the underlying tooth is just crooked and it is not pushing out the one above it. These are all conditions that your orthodontist will look for during your child’s orthodontic evaluation. Your doctor can tell you if everything is normal or if interceptive procedures are warranted (i.e. having your dentist help move things along by removing some primary teeth). Set up an orthodontic appointment for your child around age 7 so that you can benefit from the expertise of a doctor who specializes in dental growth and development. Even if there is nothing wrong, it is always a comfort having that peace of mind.

NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.

484 comments so far in response to “At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?”

  1. Judy says:

    Ive been losing teeth really fast, and im ten years old. Should I be worried? I have type 1 diabetes so i dont know if it has a relationship with it. I lost a tooth before yesturday, and another became wiggly right after and fell out, and today another one is and i am pretty sure it fell out already. Also, i didnt pull them out.

  2. shannon says:

    My sons 13 and the tooth nexted to his front tooth came out still not one there growing. Will one come in ?

  3. Liz says:

    Is it common for a 7 year old to lose one of his upper canines? It wasn’t wiggly at all last night and it came out while brushing his teeth this morning. He’s only lost the eight front teeth some of which are still growing in.

    • This is common when there is crowding. It usually occurs when the permanent laterals is much bigger than the baby lateral and it dissolves the root of both teeth when it comes in. An orthodontist with an x-ray can confirm this.

  4. momq1 says:

    My daughter lost her two bottom incisors when she was four and three months. Her adult teeth grew in shortly after. Have any other parents here experienced this? If so, how long after did the top incisors come in?
    Thanks in advance

    • The ages listed in my article are averages. That means some are younger and some are older. The fact that the adult came in normally suggests everything is OK. I would have your daughter evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7 to make sure.

  5. Lihle M says:

    hi,my 10 yr old lost his one tooth last week and a few days later one of the two big front ones came loose.Im worried sick they are not gonna grow back.Is it normal for him to lose teeth at his age?Thank you in advance.

  6. Janina says:

    I have an 8.25 year old son and daughter, it looks as if my daughter will be able to avoid braces for now because her underbite has corrected itself (yay!) But for my son I’ve had 3 different opinions from 3 different orthodontists; I had expected two of them to agree with each other! His upper lateral incisors have not emerged yet after a few months (can’t remember exactly) the space there is very narrow compared to the teeth that want to come in. One orthodontist wants to give him more room all around via first-phase braces. One wants to pull the upper canines to give him room for now and hopes to delay the braces for maybe a year. One wants to let nature run its course a little longer and conservatively watch it. Now I’m not sure which advice to follow.
    He has the narrow palate of my husband with the strong lower jaw of my side of the family. I am concerned that pulling teeth will not be encouraging his upper arch to keep up with the lower arch, exacerbating a potential aesthetic problem he’s already facing. But braces NOW may be problematic, since he has ADHD and I’m very concerned about the increased demand on oral hygiene, since routine self-care is already “pulling teeth” with him, pardon the pun… I have given up on pajamas entirely, for example. I worry that getting braces too early (when he, by the way, is not in favor of getting them anyway) could be damaging to his tooth surfaces, particularly if we went with bulky traditional braces as that particular orthodontist seems to be set on.
    I am also disappointed to read that we have an awfully long wait ahead if we were to simply wait for a majority of his adult teeth to come in, or even for the canines to fall out naturally I know that opportunities for rounding out his upper arch may be limited by that time. (Not that anyone is suggesting we wait THAT long! No one is suggesting a palate expander at this time either.) How do I decide what will be the best fix? Is there harm in waiting a few more months to take action?

    • You know your son and what he is capable of. Although there may be advantages to two-phase treatment, doing so in his case may have more disadvantages. Although I do remove primary canines in cases of extreme crowding, I always consider expansion first. As for waiting until he is older and just tackling all of the problems at once, we do it all the time and the results are wonderful.

  7. Jake says:

    I’m 15 & still have a lot of baby teeth not even wobbly Is this worrying?

  8. Janessa says:

    Is it bad that I’m 14 and I haven’t lost my upper cuspid teeth yet?

    • It is not necessary “bad,” but it would be interesting to see why you’re holding on to them so long. I would guess crowding or the underlying canines are growing in the wrong direction.

  9. Heather says:

    My 4 1/2 yr.old has got her first loose tooth.It is her top front tooth.Should I be worried that it is loose because I think it is to early and I thought you should lose your bottom teeth before your top teeth.

    • 4 1/2 is a little early and you’re right about the expected order of tooth loss. Although nothing serious is probably going on, I would have your child examined by a pediatric dentist who can take a simple xray.

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