Everybody knows that baby teeth must fall out to let the permanent teeth come in. The whole process takes at least six years.
Usually, children get very excited when they notice that one of their teeth is loose, because the Tooth Fairy will be visiting soon. But not all of them are happy about this rite of passage since sometimes they are afraid of feeling pain, or feel uncomfortable when eating, or may be worried about how they will look or talk without teeth.
Parents can help talking to their children about those fears, and letting them know they will probably will not feel pain. It is recommended to give them soft foods if they complain about discomfort when a tooth is very loose. Most baby teeth fall out on their own.
Children start getting their first baby teeth at the age of 4-7 months, in most cases, and should have all their 20 baby teeth by the age of 3 years.
Baby teeth usually fall out in the order your child got them. This means the two center bottom teeth are often the first to go, followed by the top two center ones. If your child’s baby teeth erupted late, they will probably fall out later.
Some kids lose their first baby teeth at the age of 4 years, while others start when they are 7 years old.
There are children who lose their baby teeth very young, when permanent teeth are not ready to come yet (this can be a consequence of an accident or a dental disease). In these cases, dentists use to put a temporary prothesis in order to keep the space for the permanent tooth, avoiding future teeth spacing problems.
If your child starts losing baby teeth before he/she is 4 years old, we recommend you to visit a dentist to make sure it is not due to a disease.
If your child is 7 years old and did not lose any tooth yet, although it is very common, it is also recommended to ask a dentist for an x-ray study.
When the permanent teeth do come in, you will find out they have ridges and may be slightly yellow. They are also much larger than baby teeth. Do not worry, because your child will grow into them.
Healthy toothbrushing habits become even more important now.
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Related article in Spanish: Cuándo comienzan a caerse los dientes de leche?