Baby teeth follow a general schedule for eruption (coming in) and exfoliation (coming out.) This eruption pattern varies from child to child to a certain extent within a normal limit.
When Do Baby Teeth Erupt and Fall Out?
You can expect your baby to start teething their first teeth around 6-10 months, give or take a couple of months. The first teeth to erupt will be the lower front two teeth. The upper teeth always follow the lower teeth. All eight front incisors on the top and bottom will exfoliate, and the new adult teeth will have erupted around eight years old, where there will then be a lull of a few years where not much happens. Around 9-12 years old, the back teeth will be lost subsequently. It is important to note that around six years old, the first set of adult molars erupt behind the last baby teeth, and no baby teeth are lost to get these first molars. Generally speaking, girls lose their baby teeth and get their adult teeth slightly earlier than boys. You can expect your child to have a full set of adult teeth around 12-14 years old, with the second molars’ eruption called the “12-year” molars.
Several problems can arise when baby teeth are falling out and adult teeth are erupting, but most of the time, these aren’t real problems but may just cause spacing issues later on.
Common issues your child may encounter when losing their baby teeth:
- A double row of teeth, meaning the adult tooth is erupting behind the baby tooth before the baby tooth falls out (which most often occurs in the lower front)
- Canines that erupt too high up on the gums
- A baby tooth fragment left in the gums after the tooth falls out
- A tooth that is delayed in eruption, caused by an ectopic adult tooth under the gums
These are all common issues that your child’s dentist is well aware of and will be checking for with x-rays and exams routinely, which is why it’s essential to bring your child in for regular dental check ups and dental hygiene cleanings. There are often early intervention treatment options to correct these problems and even prevent them from occurring when caught early enough.