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All About Baby Teeth!

Losing their baby teeth is probably the most exciting part of your child’s transition to being a big kid! They’re always proud to show off the gaps in their smile and anticipate a visit from the tooth fairy. But we’ve found that parents often have many questions about what to expect during the loss of their child’s baby teeth, and while every child is different and won’t follow an exact tooth schedule, we’ve provided a few general guidelines:

General Baby Teeth Timeline

There are 20 primary teeth, and most children will have them all by around 3 years of age. Although your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s still very important to take care of them in order to keep cavities, tooth decay and gum disease away. Taking care of primary teeth will set the stage for good oral hygiene habits once your child’s adult teeth grow in.

Your child’s teeth will often fall out in the order they came in and this process will begin around age 6. Around this same time, your child’s first permanent molars will start to erupt in the back of the mouth. Around the age of 8, the 4 bottom baby teeth and the 4 top baby teeth will usually be gone and permanent teeth will have started to take their place.

Once these changes have taken place, the tooth fairy can expect to take a year or two off and by age 13, the rest of your child’s baby teeth will have fallen out and their second set of permanent molars will have begun to erupt. The last teeth to grow in are the third molars (most commonly known as wisdom teeth), which will begin to come in between 17-23 years of age.

What Should I Expect?

When a tooth becomes loose, it will be natural for your child to wiggle and mess with it. This is totally normal and not something you need to discourage your child from doing. However, you should instruct your child not to pull or yank on the tooth if it’s not quite ready to come out. This can cause pain, damage roots, or even cause an infection. When a tooth comes out naturally, your child should feel no pain.

Again, the timeline above is not an exact guide. Each child is different, so don’t stress if your child is experiencing these changes a little early or a little later. However, if you do feel that something isn’t right, please don’t hesitate to call Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, located in Dover, New Hampshire.

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