When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth

Kids have normally grown all of their primary (baby) teeth by the age of 3, but teething isn't over yet. From the age of 6 or 7 (sometimes earlier), they'll start to lose their primary teeth and grow their permanent (adult) teeth.

Just because baby teeth are going to fall out doesn't mean they can be neglected. It's important to care for your child's teeth from the time they first appear, as this can lower their risk of oral health problems and help their adult teeth to develop normally.

What should you do when your child's tooth falls out?

Even losing teeth naturally can be an upsetting experience for some children. You should reassure your child that losing teeth is normal and that a new tooth will be along to replace it soon. Playing tooth fairy and giving your child a coin in exchange for their tooth could help to turn the experience into a positive one.

If their mouth is painful or swollen after a tooth falls out, this could be relieved with pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication suitable for children, or by placing a cold compress or ice pack on the side of their face.

If a child's primary tooth gets knocked out in an accident, you should see a dentist straight away so they can check for further injuries. Don't try to put the tooth back into the socket, as this could damage the permanent tooth growing underneath.

How long after baby teeth fall out do permanent teeth come in?

Adult teeth don't come through all at once. The process usually takes several years, with wisdom teeth coming much later.

Teeth normally grow in groups, replacing the same type of teeth on each side of the upper and lower jaws around the same time. The typical timeline is:

  • Age 6–7: first molars (chewing teeth)
  • Age 6–8: central incisors (front teeth)
  • Age 7–8: lateral incisors (second teeth from the front)
  • Age 9–13: canine teeth (sharp biting teeth) and premolars
  • Age 11–13: second molars
  • Age 17–25: third molars (wisdom teeth)

By the time a child reaches adulthood, they should have between 28 and 32 permanent teeth, depending on how many wisdom teeth come through. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, and if there's a risk that they might cause problems, your dentist might recommend wisdom tooth removal.

How to look after kids' teeth

Rental dental visits are important for letting your child's dentist monitor the development of their teeth and jaws and to spot any problems such as tooth decay, gum disease or orthodontic issues before these can cause permanent damage.

You can also look after your child's teeth by:

  • helping them to brush their teeth twice a day until the age of 7–8, by which time most children can brush their own teeth
  • using low-fluoride children's toothpaste before the age of 6 and encouraging them not to swallow the toothpaste
  • flossing their teeth as soon as they have 2 teeth that touch
  • discouraging sugary drinks and snacks as much as possible
  • making sure they drink plenty of water (especially tap water containing fluoride)
  • talking to their dentist about preventive treatments to protect their teeth against plaque
  • having their dentist make a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect their teeth during sports

Talk to a kids' dentist in Noosa

If it's time for your child's check-up or you need some advice, contact our friendly team at Tewantin Dental Centre today.

Call us on (07) 5447 1361 or make an appointment online.

References

Better Health Channel. Teeth development in children [Online] 2018 [Accessed July 2019] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/teeth-development-in-children

Queensland Government. Emergency dental [Online] 2015 [Accessed July 2019] Available from: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/services/oral-eye-ear/emergency-dental

Healthdirect. Dental care for children [Online] 2017 [Accessed July 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-care-for-children