What Age Do Kids Lose Teeth?

Tips for Handling Your Child's Loose Teeth

The first wiggly tooth is exciting for your little one, and it marks another milestone for you to handle. Your child's baby teeth do the trick in the beginning, but they become loose and fall out eventually to make room for the permanent teeth. Check out the normal process for losing teeth, so you know if your child is on track.

When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth?

Milk tooth on the palm

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Expect the first visit from the tooth fairy somewhere around age 6, but don't be alarmed if your child gets his first loose tooth sooner or has to wait a little longer for the gap-toothed smile. Some kids lose teeth at age 4, while others have to wait until age 8.

Certain factors influence when teeth fall out. Girls often start losing teeth earlier than boys. A child with special needs may lose teeth later. If your child started teething earlier than normal as a baby, he may start losing his teeth earlier.

How Many Teeth Do Kids Lose?

Kids have 20 baby teeth that they eventually lose. The teeth typically fall out in the same order they erupted. For most kids, that means the two bottom front teeth are the first to fall out. The top front teeth usually come next. The rest of the teeth tend to fall out in order, starting on the bottom and then the top.

How to Handle Loose Teeth

Milk tooth on the palm

How Many Teeth Do Kids Lose?

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The first sign of wiggling is exciting for your little one. You may see her constantly wiggling the tooth in an attempt to pull it out sooner. A visit from the tooth fairy is always a highlight for kids, but it's a good idea to let the tooth fall out naturally instead of yanking it out early.

The permanent teeth absorb the roots of your little one's baby teeth, which causes them to get loose. When you wait until the teeth are ready to come out, the process is relatively painless with little or no bleeding. It's perfectly fine for your little one to wiggle a tooth that's already loose, but don't force out the tooth if it's still firmly attached. If the root isn't fully dissolved, you could break it, which can lead to an infection.

If the tooth is very wiggly, but your child can't quite pull it out, you can help. Twisting the tooth gently can ease it out if it's ready.

Oral Care Tips

Taking care of teeth is important from the beginning of their appearance. Even though your child eventually loses baby teeth, it's essential to take care of them until they fall out. The baby teeth play a role in giving your child's face a normal appearance, and they hold a place until the permanent teeth erupt. Teeth are also important in speech. If your child's baby teeth become infected or decayed, they can cause damage to the permanent teeth growing underneath the baby teeth.

Help your child get into a regular oral care routine, including brushing and flossing. Teach your child to brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the gum line. Help young kids floss until they're old enough to handle it themselves. Regular dental checkups every six months are also key in keeping your little one's teeth healthy.

When to Talk to a Dentist

There's a wide range of ages that are perfectly normal for losing baby teeth. If your child hasn't lost a tooth yet by age 7, mention it at the next dental appointment. Most likely, everything is normal, but the dentist may take X-rays to make sure the permanent teeth are developing correctly.