When should a child’s teeth fall out?

One of our patients asked why her 5 year old’s teeth hadn’t started falling out, when all his friends have started to lose them and we thought we’d share the answer with you too!

The good news for this Mum and many others is there’s no need to worry. The normal time to lose teeth is around 6 or 7, but all children have their own timeline and some start losing teeth at 4, others not until 7 or 8. As you can see from this children’s teeth chart, the first teeth start to come through in babies about 6 months old and babies develop their full set of teeth around 3. Then it’s a case of first in, first out, with the central incisors and lateral incisors being the first to fall out, between 5 and 8 years old. But as the chart also shows, the process of losing teeth continues until around 12 years old – so there’s plenty of time for this 5 year old to catch up with his class mates.

The process of losing baby teeth is an exciting rite of passage for our little ones and means visits from the Tooth Fairy or Raton Perez, so there’s no surprise that this 5 year old is keen to get started. However, it can be a strange time as well, so we wanted to give you some advice for managing the process. Try to discourage your child from pulling out the tooth before it’s ready, as it can be sore and cause infection – just a gentle wobble will do. If a wobbly tooth is driving your child mad, pop into your dentist and let us have a look, we might be able to give it a helping hand.

Some children report mild pain when their molars come in at the back, this is nothing to worry about, just give them a little Dalsy or Calpol to ease any discomfort. Don’t worry if the new teeth look or feel very big, or if they look less white than the baby teeth, this is normal, and you’ll get used to the new look very soon.

One thing to watch out for is teeth coming through at strange angles or in the wrong places. If you as a parent had teeth out of place when you were young, then inform the dentist, as it is often hereditary. It’s possible in younger children to train the teeth to grow better to reduce the requirement for braces at a later stage, so speak to your dentist or orthodontist and see what they recommend.

If your child hasn’t lost any baby teeth by 7 or 8 years old, it’s a good idea to go and visit your dentist, just to make sure that everything is developing as it should. Children should be having yearly checkups from the age of 3 anyway, so that we can keep an eye on the teeth, teach good oral hygiene and get kids into the routine of going to the dentist with no worry or fear. We are specialists in Paediatric Dentistry and are very patient and kind, so let us have a look and put your mind at rest.

For more information, please take a look at our FAQs for caring for your kid’s teeth and let us know if you have any questions, there’s also another excellent article about Losing baby teeth on babycenter. I am sure the tooth fairy will be visiting this little boy soon 🙂