Has your child started to lose their teeth? If so, you might be wondering when this loss of teeth will come to an end.
In truth, it depends. As such, to give you a better idea as to when all of the teeth will fall out of your child’s mouth, we’re going to get into the specifics below. Let’s dive into the details pertaining to when baby teeth fall out.
When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?
While there is a great deal of variation, different baby teeth tend to fall out at different times. We’ll review common fall-out time ranges for different types of teeth below.
Generally speaking, central incisors fall out between 6 and 7 years of age. That said, they can fall out as early as 5 and as late as 8 or 9.
Upper lateral incisors tend to make it to between 7 and 8 years of age. However, it’s not uncommon for them to fall out as early as 5 years of age and as late as 10 years of age.
First molars will typically fall out between 9 and 11 years of age. However, it’s not unheard of for them to fall out as early as 7 years and as late as 12 years and beyond.
Second molars tend to last a little longer than first molars, lasting between 10 and 12 years on average. However, they could fall out as early as 7 years and as late as 12 years, and sometimes even beyond that.
Like second molars, canine teeth typically fall out between 10 and 12 years of age. Note, however, that canines often fall out prior to second molars falling out.
What About When Baby Teeth Fall Out Early?
We’ve noted the typical time ranges during which specific teeth will fall out of a child’s mouth. Now, what if these teeth fall out far before when they’re supposed to?
What causes such a problem? And what should be done to treat it, if anything?
The typical cause of teeth falling out exceedingly early is tooth decay. The other common cause is direct physical trauma. In other words, the tooth gets knocked out in some sort of collision.
This causes an issue, as it provides a space into which the other teeth can shift. Over time, this can result in severe tooth misalignment.
Now, how is the problem treated? Generally speaking, it’s treated with orthodontics. In particular, a spacer is put where the gap is, ensuring that the surrounding teeth can’t close in on it.
That said, if you wait until the child’s adult teeth have grown in, more extreme measures will need to be taken. In particular, the child will need to use orthodontic braces.
What About When Baby Teeth Won’t Fall Out?
In unique circumstances, baby teeth will refuse to fall out, staying in the child’s mouth far past the expected due date. In fact, one 87-year-old woman retained a baby tooth until the day she died. That’s definitely an outlier, but you get the picture.
The questions: what happens when baby teeth won’t fall out? And, even more, why does this happen in the first place?
Well, the most common cause of a baby tooth not falling out is the fact that there’s no adult tooth to push it out. See, erupting adult teeth are what pushes baby teeth out in the first place. So, if they’re not coming in, the baby teeth likely won’t fall out either.
Wondering what leads to an absent adult tooth? It could be anything from an infection to a mouth injury to tooth misalignment to simple genetics. The factors are many and they’re totally unpredictable when it comes to how they’ll affect the teeth.
Now, what happens when baby teeth don’t fall out? Well, a number of problems could arise. The patient could have an increased risk for gum disease, tooth and jaw misalignment issues, and even an increased risk of cavities.
As to how you should treat existing baby teeth, the options vary. If the tooth is strong and aesthetically pleasing, the dentist will likely just let it remain; if it’s strong and aesthetically displeasing, the dentist will probably try to clean or restore it in some way; if it’s crooked, the dentist will almost undoubtedly remove it and then close the gap with either orthodontic braces or a dental implant.
Where Do Wisdom Teeth Come Into the Picture?
Now, after reading all of this, you might be wondering: what about wisdom teeth? When exactly are wisdom teeth supposed to fall out in the realm of teeth development? In truth: wisdom teeth don’t fall out on their own.
See, wisdom teeth come in during the patient’s adolescent years. Some get 1, some get 2, others get 3, others get 4, and some don’t get any at all.
Depending on the circumstances, these teeth may or may not overcrowd the mouth. If they do, all of the teeth will start to become crooked. In scenarios such as this, it becomes necessary to remove 1 or more of the wisdom teeth.
This requires an intensive procedure in which the dentist extracts the teeth from the mouth. During this procedure, the patient is put under anesthetic with their mouth entirely numbed. So, while the procedure itself causes no pain or discomfort, recovery typically does.
Fortunately, once the wisdom teeth are out, you’ll never have to worry about teeth falling out ever again (provided that you care for them properly).
Baby Teeth Fall Out at Their Own Pace
At the end of the day, baby teeth fall out at their own pace. It’s hard to determine just exactly when a child’s teeth will fall out. That said, most children lose their teeth between the ages of 5 and 12.
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