Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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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.

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

  1. Mike Passalacqua says:

    Not replying to anyone just complimenting the site for being easy to navigate and giving us a concise answer to our interest in bottom molars and when they loosen. Put my daughter (11) and myself at rest. Thank you!!

  2. Kedron says:

    My daughter is 9 1/2 years old. She has recently lost 6 teeth in very quick succession (6 in approx. 3 weeks). There does appear to be teeth coming in behind all the lost teeth. Is this pattern normal or reason for concern?

  3. wiktoria says:

    My 2 lower canines and the top lateral incisor are wobbly.are they my baby teeth? I am 11

  4. Sarah says:

    My daughter lost her two bottom front teeth at 4 1/2. Her top two are loose now (she was 5 in June). She also has her bottom eye tooth beside the first tooth she lost loose. She keeps complaining that one hurts when she is eating. It was banged pretty bad when she fell and hit her chin on a metal scooter. There is no visible damage to the tooth or gum. Should I be worried that the tooth is wiggling as she hasn’t lost her top two yet?

  5. Ashley says:

    I just got back from my daughters dental appointment and I’m really freaking out. My daughter is going to be 5 on September 15th, and she’s already lost 2 teeth. The dentist told me that she has 5 more loose teeth, all at varying stages of “willingness”. Then she told me that tooth loss in children corresponds with puberty…is this true?

    • Not necessarily, and even if it does there is nothing you can do to change it. The average age of first tooth loss is 6. Your daughter is only slightly younger. I wouldn’t worry.

  6. maggy says:

    Hi my son is 8 years old, the dentist removed his 2 lower canine as he said it’s crowded the other teeth , my question now is this ok to remove the canine teeth that early also when do you think the adult canine will grow as he having hard time eating without the canine thanks hope to hear from you soon

    • I can’t tell you how long it will take because there are a lot of variables. Just know that your son will adapt quickly. Also know that removing baby canines only DELAYS the crowding. Your doctor borrowed space from the permanent canines to align the permanent laterals. There is more crowding to deal with down the road.

  7. Kim says:

    Hello, my nephew has cerebral palsy with aspiration problem. He is currently 5 years old. HIs new lower tooth is growing behind his baby teeth and his dentist recommended that they should have 4 bottom teeth pulled. He would have to go under anesthesia for them to perform extraction. The parents are very nervous of putting them through anesthesia because the last time he had his tonsil removed he ended up in Critical care for almost two weeks because his lungs go fluid in. Do you think he should have these baby teeth pulled or just wait for them to fall out?

    thank you
    Kim

    • This is a tough one Kim. I don’t think the baby teeth will fall out on their own anytime soon, but given his history, I’d be inclined to wait a few years until he’s a little older. There is no rush to resolve the orthodontic problem, especially if it puts him in intensive care. If you wait until he’s a little older and more cooperative, they will probably be able to remove the teeth without general anesthesia. Good luck!

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