Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

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.

1,045 comments so far in response to “At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?”

  1. Christy casteel says:

    My daughter is almost 8. She had grinded her teeth on top so bad there really small. She hasn’t lost her top two front teeth but already lost all four on bottom. Is it normal for her not to lose her top two baby teeth yet?

    • Most children loose the upper front four baby teeth before they are 8, but not always. Your daughter’s delay may be due to the fact that they are worn and hard to get a hold of to wiggle. I would recommend having her seen by a local orthodontist who can advise you on her development.

  2. Kid says:

    I have a loose back upper back tooth that has been (Not very loose) for the past few weeks. I’m scared that my adult tooth will grow behind or in front of it. How long should you have a loose tooth in your mouth before your adult teeth come in?

    • Everyone is different. Sometimes teeth get loose and remain in the mouth for several weeks or even months before they finally come out. Just keep wiggling it and it should come out. If it starts to be uncomfortable and you can’t get it, please see your dentist for help.

  3. Breyon Richards says:

    I am 14 years of and one of my teeth is loose , I believe it is my cupsid tooth but is this normal ??

  4. Katie H says:

    I’m almost 12 and I’ve only lost 12/13 teeth. Should I be worried? I haven’t seen any loose teeth since about 9.

    • You’re a little behind, but that may not be a big deal. The best thing to do is get in to see an orthodontist that can take an x-ray and help you understand what is going on.

  5. Russell says:

    My son is 12 yrs old. Last week his upper first molar teeth is getting loose.Should i consult a dentist.

    • If it is a primary molar (which looks very large like a permanent molar), there is no problem. If you are worried that it is actually a permanent tooth, please take him to see a dentist for reassurance.

  6. Carolina says:

    My 8 year old son has gotten in most of his adult teeth, he starting at around age 4. We noticed one of his canine teeth are loose. His dentist said he is monitoring it because it’s a little too early for those. Should we be concerned? What is the worst case scenario here? My son is bigger for his age (looks like a 10 year old).

  7. Yankee says:

    My son is 7 and will be 8 by January and have only lost a lower incisor. What is responsible for this

    • He is a little delayed and may be fine. It is possible that if he has very large teeth and a small mouth, that could be causing the delay. A visit to a local orthodontist would be a good idea.

  8. Melanie Maddox says:

    Hi. My daughter is 7 years old. She has lost all 8 front baby teeth (4 top, 4 bottom). She currently has all 4 of her molars coming in. This morning she came and told me her first molar (baby tooth) is loose. Is it normal
    For her to be losing a molar already? It’s the one directly behind her canine.

    • She is a little young for that tooth to be loose. That usually happens around age 9, but she might just be early. The only way to know if everything is OK is to have her seen by an orthodontist who can take an x-ray.

  9. Gloria says:

    My daughter just turned 7 in June, and she has lost only 1 tooth on the bottom. Is it likely she will lose more this year leading to her 8th birthday? As your description above stated she should. My husband, who was the one who took her to the dentist, said that the dentist had told him that may have to extract some primary teeth because none of her other teeth are even loose.

    • Some children are just slower than others. There may be nothing to worry about, but you’ve done the right thing by placing her in the care of a dentist who is keeping his eye on her.

  10. Richard says:

    Hi, My son is just 2.5 years old.And his front teeth has been falling. What is the solution. Is there b new teeth come or we will wait until the age of 7 to 8.

    • The only way to really know what is going on with your son is to have him examined by a local dentist. I would recommend a children’s dentist known as a pedodontist. They can tell you if everything is OK. Good luck!

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