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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.

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

  1. Soph Alford says:

    I’m nearly 16 and I have only lost 8 baby teeth, what should I do?

  2. Cristy says:

    My 8 year old has lost a total of 12 teeth. All but 4 (the incisors) have been bottom teeth. He did have to have one of his second bottom molars pulled due to an infection. The rest have come out on their own. Is he losing too many teeth too fast? He is a big guy 5 foot tall and a little over 100 lbs. Does the rate at which a child loses teeth have anything to do with size and/or growth rate, (i.e. if he is the size of a normal 12 year old should he have lost around the same amount of teeth as a normal 12 year old)?

  3. Patricia says:

    My 10 year old son has an upper first molar baby tooth that has not fallen out and is translucent(it looks pink). The hygienist at his last cleaning said pieces were flaking off. The dentist has recommended removing the baby tooth. Should we help it out or let it be?

    • It sounds like your son is having trouble doing it on his own. If he would work at it, it should be easy to get out. If he can’t get it, it will be easy for a dentist to help him.

  4. Gabi says:

    I was surprised (again) by my 7 year old twin losing a tooth last night, her left lower canine. She lost her 1st tooth, L lower central incisor, exactly 3 years ago at age 4 1/2. I had no clue she would start losing teeth so young! It took her twin 3-4 months to lose her first. Both have had orthodontic evaluations. I’m an ER nurse but knew nothing about normal dental development. This information was very helpful and informative. Thank you!

  5. Daniel says:

    My daughter is 4yrs and her 2 bottom teeth are shaking ,is it right all something is wrong . Please let me know coz am worried.

  6. kristine foust says:

    The dentist says that my 10 yr old grandson would need to have 10 teeth pulled!! And she wants to do all the extractions at the same time!! I didnt think he had 10 baby teeth left. Is it a good idea to do this? To me,it seems like alot for a little boy to endure.

  7. Brandon says:

    Hi. I am 10yrs old and still not have not lost my upper lateral incisor, it is loose but still not ready to come out, is it worth worrying?

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