Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

What Age Do Kids Start Losing Teeth? Baby Teeth Explained

what age do kids start losing teeth

What to Do When Your Child Starts Losing Their Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are important tools in your child’s development. They assist with chewing food, speech development, and many other useful functions. As your child grows, their baby teeth will be slowly replaced by their adult teeth.

As a parent, you might be wondering about a timeline to expect your children to lose their baby teeth. Today, we are going to cover important facts about the loss of baby teeth to help you prepare for your child’s future dental hygiene needs.

What Are Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth are clinically known as “deciduous teeth.” You might have grown up calling them primary teeth, milk teeth, or another similar term.

Deciduous teeth are narrower, shorter, and overall smaller than adult teeth. They allow your child to learn to chew and form speech properly while their mouth continues to grow and create the appropriate space for the adult teeth to eventually take their place.

Your child’s primary teeth also feature several notable differences from adult teeth. For example, baby teeth usually have thinner enamel, shorter roots, and often a brighter appearance.

What Age Do Kids Start Baby Teeth?

Most children start losing their baby teeth around the age of six or seven. Usually, by the time a child reaches age twelve or thirteen, they have lost all their baby teeth and permanent adult teeth are growing in.

What if a Tooth Doesn’t Fall Out On Time?

If you are concerned because one or more of your child’s baby teeth have not fallen out by age twelve, talk to your pediatric dentist at your next appointment. Sometimes baby teeth do not leave easily as the permanent ones grow in.

The dentist can perform an examination to determine why the tooth is still attached. Sometimes, this can be the result of tooth decay or an injury.

What to Do When a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Most children feel minimal if any discomfort when a baby tooth falls out naturally. When this happens, have your child rinse their mouth with water. If bleeding continues, apply a small piece of gauze over the exposed gums until bleeding slows.

Should I Be Concerned About Bumps or Discoloration?

Adult teeth may appear to have a different color and even a bumpy texture. The darker shade of an adult tooth is caused by the presence of thicker enamel and a more extensive dentinal layer. Dentin makes up the inner layer of teeth and is yellow in color, which gives a very different shade to permanent teeth.

Additionally, bumps on the tooth called mamelons are a typical part of the growing process and will typically smoothen out with time. If the tooth appears severely discolored or misshapen, consider visiting a dentist for further evaluation.

What if a Tooth Did Not Grow in at All?

Some people are born with a condition where a baby tooth or the adult tooth that is supposed to replace it may not have developed.  Depending on the tooth that is missing and the patient’s age there are many ways to manage this type of concern.  If you have any questions regarding this please ask at your next visit.

After New Teeth Have Grown In

Young mouths don’t always have enough space for perfectly mature teeth. In many cases, orthodontic treatments could be beneficial to help create space for your adult teeth to grow into and minimize issues like crowding or the need for extractions of permanent teeth.

As your child’s mature teeth grow in, try to notice the angles at which their teeth are growing. Other issues of misalignment, such as overbites or underbites, may present themselves and can be corrected with orthodontics.

Make an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist Today

Where Smiles Grow provides pediatric dentistry to children throughout the Capital Region, with offices in Latham, NY, Delmar, NY and Schodack, NY.  If you are concerned about your child’s teeth and would like a professional examination, make an appointment today and talk to their pediatric dentist at your next visit.