Many parents wonder if their children are losing their baby teeth at the correct, or “normal”, time. This is an understandable question, as the loss of baby teeth can be an emotional time for both parents and children. The truth is, the healthy loss of a child’s baby teeth can occur over a pretty wide time frame and age range. To help further clarify, let’s explore the “usual rule of thumb” about losing baby teeth, as well as how this natural process can sometimes lead to orthodontic needs for children.

Typically, children will lose baby teeth during a five to six-year time frame. Baby teeth start to loosen when a child’s permanent teeth begin to grow in beneath them, usually at around the age of six. Of course, this is only an average, and many kids will begin losing baby teeth at as early as four years of age or as late as eight. Many parents are surprised to learn that, from a dental and orthopedic point of view, the order and pattern of how baby teeth are lost is actually a more important issue than the age a child is when they begin to lose their teeth.

Interestingly, there is a universal pattern that the loss of baby teeth usually follows, regardless of a child’s age, size, race or nationality. Most often, the two front, bottom teeth (lower central incisors) will go first, followed by the two front, top ones (upper central incisors) and then the lateral incisors, first molars, canine teeth and, finally, second molars. This order can certainly vary for some children without causing a problem, however, this is the order of baby tooth loss that is ideal for avoiding overcrowding or other orthodontic problems occurring when adult teeth grow in. It’s important to make an orthodontic appointment for your child when they begin to lose their baby teeth. This way, unexpected issues can be noted and planned for ahead of time, before overcrowding, crooked teeth or other oral problems arise. To schedule a free orthodontic consultation for your child at Pavlik Orthodontics, call (352) 376-5055 today!