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.

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

  1. Gabriel Baiza says:

    I am fourteen years of age and all but one of my baby teeth have fallen out. My right Cuspid is very short and went crooked on its own. Irritation is a main problem for me and I’m at a point where i want to pull it out myself. What should I do?

    • Sounds like you would benefit by seeing a local orthodontist for an evaluation. Only someone who can see your teeth and has an x-ray of your mouth can help you determine what is best for you.

  2. Kristine J. says:

    I’m 13 years old…i can feel that my central incisor is moving..do i need to pull or remove this?Should I be concerned? I’m worrying because I’m turning high-school now..my smile is my only confidence to show up..Thank You

  3. Irene says:

    My 5 year old has great dental hygiene brushes twice a day, eats healthy but she lost her bottom central incisors when she was 4 and her 2 top central incisors when she turned 5 and now she is loosing her other front teeth with more losening up by the day. The dentist says everything is ok but it seems to be very early to me. Is this normal? What can I do?

  4. Catherine says:

    I am fourteen years old, and I have one baby tooth left. According to the diagram found on this website, it is my left cuspid on the upper arch. It is extremely loose, and I am not sure whether or not I should pull it out or wait until it falls out. I am also not sure if I should consult my dentist.

    • If it really is a baby tooth and you’re 14, you are safe in pulling it out. Additionally, you should be seen by an orthodontist because having a loose tooth that is delayed in being lost might be a sign of crowding underneath.

  5. Trey says:

    I’m 13 and I have lost none of my upper arch teeth except the front ones. And, I’m just now losing the last of my bottom teeth. What going on?

  6. Me says:

    I’m 15 and my upper cuspid is loose. I don’t know if it’s a baby tooth or if it’s my permenent tooth. I have compared it to my other cuspid and its sticking out of the gum more than the other and the part that is meant to be pointy, seems like it has broken off, but I’m not sure. Is this normal?

  7. Seiyu says:

    I’m 12 nd think both of my lower cuspids are loose, and i do not know if they are adult teeth or baby teeth also, should i pull it out?

  8. Amy says:

    Im 12 i have an huge overbite and i want braces to fix it but i can not get them because.I still have a lot of baby teeth in my mouth, i haven’t even gotten my 12 year old molars yet.why is that?

  9. Kelly says:

    I’m not losing my teeth in the right order. What should I do?

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