Losing Baby Teeth - What to Expect

Losing Baby Teeth: What to Expect

Dianna Kersey General Dentistry

Yes, it’s true, most baby teeth are going to fall out eventually. They are replaced by permanent teeth usually between ages 6- 12. Unfortunately, losing baby teeth can be stressful for children and parents. Here is what you can expect when your child starts losing baby teeth.


When Will They Fall Out?


Baby teeth begin to fall out around age six. The first teeth to go are usually the lower front teeth, and follow a general pattern moving back towards the molars. The roots and supporting bones for these teeth resorb over time so that the tooth can exfoliate (shed from the surface). A permanent tooth begins to form under the baby tooth and erupts through the gingiva (gums) into the mouth. This continues until around age 12, though each child loses their baby teeth at a different rate.


Baby Teeth Can Be Swallowed-No Worries!


Baby teeth may not be seen when they fall out unless your child notices it and catches it. Sometimes, a tooth gets stuck in food and swallowed. While this sounds alarming, it is actually harmless. A baby tooth is primarily composed of calcium and dissolves in stomach acid. It will either stay in the stomach until it dissolves, or shrink until it is small enough to pass. The tooth usually doesn’t have roots since they dissolved before the tooth fell out, so there are no sharp points left on the tooth.


You Shouldn’t Pull Baby Teeth


While it may be tempting to pull baby teeth, it is not a good idea. Baby teeth can take months to fall out once they loosen. Keeping them in place is a good thing. It helps keep the other teeth in place making it easier for the new tooth to come in. Plus, your child can avoid the uncomfortable (but amazingly cute) missing tooth look at school for a very extended time period. It is perfectly fine to wiggle the tooth periodically to help loosen it along. If your child can wiggle it out it usually means it was ready to come out!


Teething Can Be Uncomfortable


Permanent teeth have to make their way through the gingiva and up into place, which can be a little uncomfortable but not necessarily. Every child is different.  Some may complain about being sore while others may say nothing. Permanent teeth are darker than the primary teeth they replace and this is completely normal. You still want your child to brush and keep them clean but they may never look as white as the tooth they replaced. There is no right or wrong time for your child to lose a specific tooth and we will monitor your child’s growth and development as part of routine dental care.

If you have questions about baby teeth or your child’s dental health, contact “Dr. Jeff” today at 914-245-1670 or at www.drjeffdentist4kids.com to schedule their first appointment. 

And don’t forget…. “Dr. Jeff” also offers a FREE Complimentary Well Baby Visit” for babies under the age of 2 so parents can get acquainted with proper dental hygiene and habits.