A child's baby teeth falling out and being replaced with their considerably larger adult counterparts is a rite of passage. These miniature choppers, also known as deciduous or primary teeth, typically fall out around the age of 6 -- usually while you're using them. Everyone probably has a story of a baby tooth coming out while you were eating something.
If you have a girl, her adult teeth may begin to come in a little sooner. Sometimes, the teeth don't loosen enough and the adult teeth come in at the same time, crowding the area. In these cases, the baby tooth may have to be pulled by a dentist to make room. One tooth coming in on top of the other will alter its growth, so it's important to stay vigilant about the state of your kid's mouth.
The order in which your child will lose his or her primary teeth can vary, but they typically loosen up and fall out in the same order in which they came in. This usually means that the bottom front teeth are first to go, followed by the top front. The lateral incisors, first molars, canines and the rest of the molars will likely follow, although not always in exact order.
Trauma to the teeth can cause premature loss. With the way some kids play, it's not uncommon at all to take a flying elbow to the face on a playground and knock out a couple of baby teeth that weren't quite ready to go. There's usually nothing to worry about in this case, just stop the bleeding and keep an eye out for infection.
All of the baby teeth should be out by the time your child reaches his or her teenage years, with most of the action taking place between 10 and 11 years old. When it comes time to pull the tooth, your child may either be scared or incredibly excited about the process.
- "Baby Teeth." Ada.org. (August 19, 2011). http://www.ada.org/3084.aspx
- Carr, Alan. "At what age do children start losing their baby teeth?" Mayocinic.com. (August 19, 2011). http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/baby-teeth/AN00355