Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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1401 Barbara Loop SE
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.

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

  1. charlotte says:

    Hi my 1 and a half has lost her top front tooth I clean them every day but it looks like she has a new tooth comming what should I go ??

  2. Nidhi says:

    My son is 7 years old and he has not lost a single teeth. Is there any probs or it is normal. ….

  3. Mom says:

    My daughter had her top central and lateral incisors and the second molar removed due to tooth decay. Now her canine just fell out . She is 5 years and 6 months old . Will her adult teeth come in without any problems ? If so when will it come in ?

    • There is no way to tell if the permanent teeth will be affected or not. Trauma and decay that affect the primary teeth can and do affect the underlying permanent teeth. You cannot do anything about it until after they come into the mouth anyway. As for the age of eruption, everyone is different but permanent teeth are typically delayed in their eruption if the baby ones are lost early.

  4. Donna says:

    Hi, my son is going to be 9yrs old in two months, and he just lost his upper canine tooth. The other one is also very loose. It will probably come out in a couple of days. After reading the article, I was just wondering if this is okay or should he see his Dentist? Thank you.

  5. Delaney says:

    Hey I am 14 and have only lost about 8 teeth my entire life. I have some that are coming in which is good but since my baby teeth are taking so long to come out, the adult teeth that are growing are growing OVER my baby teeth! I have had this happen before and the tooth seemed to straighten out in place but why is it taking so long! Is it hereditary because my dad took a very long time to lose his as well? Thank you

    • I cannot give you a specific reason because I have not examined you. Some reasons for delay are delayed development of the permanent teeth, delayed loss of the baby teeth, and crowding that does not allow the permanent ones to push out the baby ones. I’m sure your local orthodontist could answer this for you.

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