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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.

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

  1. Rain Carson says:

    I’m 12 and I have only lost 8 baby teeth, is that bad?

  2. Emily says:

    My daughter is 7, she has lost her bottom two teeth, then her bottom two lateral incisors. The top two front teeth have been wobbly for over 6 months, but showing no signs of falling out yet. I thought the top front two should come out before the lateral incisors? Could there be a problem or is this normal?

  3. muhammad alam says:

    iam 22 years old ,i have 14 milky teeths which are not falling on til date ,upper teeths r 6 and ower are 8.i discus with a dctor on this proplem he take a x_ray /but in x ray shown by the all the teeths are present in inner side then now what can i do can @?

    • There are times when the primary teeth (or milk teeth) do not fall out on their own and must be removed by a doctor. Is sounds like this might be the case in your mouth. Please be advised that not all permanent teeth erupt after the baby teeth are gone in a 22-year-old mouth.

  4. Katie says:

    My son turned 12 last month. He has just lost his lower molars but not the upper which are loose. The upper permanent molars have been visible for more than a month, but when he saw the orthodontist 2 months ago, he made no mention of them. Should I take him to the dentist for extraction or continue to wait for his next appointment in 3 months?

    • This is not a major emergency for a 12-year-old. I would just mention it at your son’s next appointment and have your orthodontist determine the best course of treatment.

  5. kayleigh says:

    My one year old neice was eating a sandwich and a tooth fell out, is this normal??

  6. Hayley says:

    Hi…I have an eleven year old daughter who has recently lost 4 teeth. Two on each side of her front teeth. My concern is the huge empty spaces on both sides of her front teeth. She doesn’t even want to smile because the space where teeth should be looks “weird” (it is very obvious her teeth are gone there) and her two front teeth are really big. We do see the dentist regularly, but he continues to tell us not to worry. One tooth on her left side is finally starting to come in, but it looks very sharp and pointy… She feels very self conscience about it. I just don’t know what to do. Have you ever seen this happen ? I just want her to smile again !

  7. Anthony says:

    I am 10 but I have not lost my first upper molars but I have lost my bottom molars.Is that normal?

  8. Anthony says:

    I’m 12 years old and my upper left molar is loose. Is that supposed to happen? The tooth hurts whenever I eat on that side, I don’t know if it’s a baby tooth.

  9. Ashley says:

    Hi, I’m 10 years old but I have lost my upper canines but haven’t lost the bottom ones. There’s also some salty/sour liquid that sometimes comes out. Is this normal?

  10. jaz says:

    My 10year old son’s upper left central incisor didnt fall out while the right side already have permanent tooth.it looks weird because the right side with permanent tooth is bigger than the left with a milk tooth.what can i do?

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