When Should My Child Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Children have twenty deciduous molars or baby teeth. They begin erupting at 8 months on average, and finish at around 24-27 months of age. The process of shedding the deciduous teeth begins by root resorption. Once this occurs the tooth becomes mobile, and can be pulled from the socket. If the root resorption does not completely happen the tooth may require an extraction. The permanent tooth then erupts from the socket. The first teeth lost are generally the upper and lower central incisors at age 6-7, and they are quickly followed by the lateral incisors at age 8-9.  There is a period of almost a year where there are no teeth lost, before the canines, first molars, and second molars are shed between the ages of 10-13. The permanent molars erupt without losing any teeth at the ages of 6 and 12. These ages are averages, and any child may start losing teeth earlier or later. If a baby tooth becomes decayed it is important to consider these timelines when determining treatment. If a child is very close to losing a baby tooth the dentist may suggest to merely wait for it to fall out as long as the child is not in pain. If the tooth will remain in the mouth for several more years it is advisable to receive treatment. Baby teeth maintain the space for the eruption of the permanent tooth and assist in proper speech development. Finally, it is important to remove extensive decay to protect the developing permanent teeth underneath.