When kids start to lose their teeth, it can be a scary and exciting time. A bit of explanation and preparation can make this process easy and fun. In this blog post, we’ll talk about when kids start to lose their baby teeth, and what parents can do when this time comes.
When Do Kids Start to Lose Their Teeth?
Your child’s first tooth will come in at about one year old, and your child will have all of their baby teeth by the time they’re three years old. These primary teeth, also called baby teeth, won’t last long, however. Kids start to lose these teeth naturally at about 6 or 7 years old. These new teeth will begin to come in right away, and your child will have all of their permanent teeth (except for their wisdom teeth) by about age 11 to 13.
All children are different, some kids will lose their teeth a bit earlier, and others a bit later. For easy reference, here’s a general timeline of when kids start to lose their teeth, and when they’ll get their permanent teeth.
- First baby teeth come in: Your child’s first baby teeth, usually their front teeth, will come in between 6 months and one year old.
- Later baby teeth come in: Your child’s back teeth come in a bit later, usually between one years and two-and-a-half years old.
- First baby teeth lost: Your child will start to lose their baby teeth in generally the same order as they came in. The front teeth will be the first to go, usually between 6 or 7 years old.
- Last baby teeth lost: The back baby teeth will start to fall out a bit later, usually between 9 and 11 years old.
- First permanent teeth come in: Your child’s first permanent teeth start to appear right away, between 6 or 7 years old.
- All permanent teeth come in: All your child’s permanent teeth should appear by about 11 to 13 years old, except for their wisdom teeth and third molars.
What To Do When Kids Start Losing Their Teeth
When your child first notices that their teeth are loose, they might be scared. As previously mentioned, this happens at about 6 or 7, so your child is old enough to understand basic ideas about dental health. Explain to your child that their baby teeth will loosen and fall out naturally to make room for their permanent teeth, but their permanent teeth will stay forever. Tell your child that they can wiggle teeth carefully, but they should let the tooth fall out on their own.
Start Great Dental Habits
When your child gets their first teeth, this is a great time to start introducing them to good dental health. Start brushing gently with a baby brush, and schedule your child’s first dental visit. Good dental hygiene habits can help to prevent early cavities and gum disease, and also help your child protect their teeth as they come in.
By the time your child is about 3 or 4 years old, they should also be getting dental x-rays. These x-rays will not only show any cavities present, but they will also show where your child’s adult teeth are, and if they’re likely to appear soon!
Make it Fun
The Tooth Fairy is one way to make losing baby teeth fun. If you don’t want to use money, you might use small gifts instead, like art supplies or a small toy. Or, you might use currency you have leftover from a trip, as if the Tooth Fairy recently visited this part of the world. Or, you might use a toothpaste with your kid’s favorite cartoon characters, sparkly or color-changing toothpaste, or flavored floss to encourage healthy dental habits. If you don’t want to introduce the Tooth Fairy, you might use these small gifts just to make your child excited about losing their teeth.
If You Keep Your Child’s Teeth
Your child’s first lost tooth is a milestone, and you may want to keep it as a memento. First, make sure the tooth is clean and dry. Then, you might repurpose a ring box or another decorative box, put it in a baby book, scrapbook, shadow box, or even a locket or similar item. If you decide to keep your child’s tooth or teeth, put the teeth in a place that’s precious to you.
When kids start to lose their teeth, it can be a scary time, but it can also be an exciting time. Talk with your child about their baby and permanent teeth, encourage healthy habits, and try to make the process fun. If you live in the Las Vegas area, schedule your child’s first dental appointment with one of our expert pediatric dentists.