As exciting as a milestone as it is, the age in which it happens can vary from one child to the next. Some children get teeth earlier than their siblings and other children lose teeth later than their peers. Everything from a child’s age to their gender can play a role. Generally speaking, most children lose their first tooth around age six. If you have a child in kindergarten or first grade, tooth loss is just one of many firsts
When a dentist talks about teeth falling out, they use the term “exfoliation.” This process of teeth coming in and shedding starts at the front of the mouth, working its way back. Although teeth start falling out around age six, it’s not until most children are around 12 years old when the final baby teeth fall out. That means when it’s time for junior high, most of the baby teeth will be long gone.
Although the last baby tooth falls out sometime in late middle school, your child’s adult smile is still forming. Erupted adult teeth may not have fully developed roots quite yet, which is why some types of dental procedures are avoided until they’re older. Wisdom teeth generally start to make an appearance sometime during high school or college. But it’s not uncommon for young adults well into their late 20’s to experience the uncomfortable stages of a wisdom tooth coming through.
In specific situations, some children’s teeth don’t fall out without a little…intervention. For example, certain types of disorders may prevent baby teeth from resorbing (shrinking) when they’re pressed on by the adult tooth. This situation can lead to the permanent teeth becoming impacted and a host of orthodontic problems. If that’s the case, they may need to have their family or pediatric dentist extract the tooth on a certain schedule. In other instances, a lack of a tooth falling out
Crowded or crooked teeth mainly occur when the teeth coming into your child’s mouth are larger than the space available in the jaws. Erupting teeth will follow the path of least resistance. If there is not adequate space for them to come in straight, they will rotate, overlap, and become crooked. Genetics is often a factor.
Crowded or crooked teeth can be a normal part of a child’s development. Jaw bone development and tooth development may not happen at the same rate or time. A size discrepancy between the adult teeth and the baby teeth can also lead to crowded, crooked teeth. As your child grows, the teeth are better able to fit properly in the mouth.
It is recommended that your child be evaluated by their dentist when crowded or crooked teeth are a concern. Orthodontic treatment may be necessary if normal jaw growth does not provide enough room for teeth to straighten out.
If you do nothing about the crowding and/or crooked teeth, there is a good possibility the teeth may stay that way. Other than the compromised appearance of crooked teeth, a person’s bite and chewing can be affected by misaligned teeth. Abnormal wear on the teeth and jaw pain may result. Crowded teeth may cause an adult tooth to become impacted and never grow into the mouth properly. Occasionally, adult teeth may have to be removed to make space to straighten
Over the past several decades, fluoride use has significantly reduced the rate of tooth decay in children. Cavities remain to be one of the main childhood diseases and a common reason for missed school days. But tooth decay can also impair a child’s speech development, self-esteem, appearance, and overall wellness. Fortunately, fluoride can help. When used properly, this natural mineral promotes healthy teeth that are more resistant to tooth decay and sensitivity. But like any type of supplement or vitamin,
Today, dental research supports the use of a rice-sized smear of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing baby teeth. At this small of an amount, any accidental ingestion is safe. Too much could cause an upset stomach, so save the “pea sized” amount for when your child is old enough to rinse her mouth well. Professional fluoride applications are recommended twice a year, usually during your child’s checkup and cleaning appointment. This treatment remineralizes any weaker outer enamel that’s been exposed to