It is common for parents to worry about the timing of their children’s teeth falling out. In this post, our North York orthodontic team will discuss the typical order in which children lose their teeth and what types of problems to watch for. If you have any concerns about your child’s dental development, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance.
Which order of teeth falling out is normal?
Observing your child reach the age where they begin to lose their baby teeth can be a significant and potentially stressful milestone. It is natural to wonder if the teeth are falling out at the appropriate time and in the correct order. In this post, we aim to provide some answers and alleviate any concerns you may have about this process.
First Primary Teeth Lost: Ages 6 to 8
During this phase of development, you may notice some gaps in your child’s smile as they typically lose 8 primaries (upper and lower front) teeth in rapid succession. While there are always exceptions, tooth loss usually begins with the lower central incisors before the upper central incisors. Between 7 and 8 years old, most children lose their upper and lower lateral incisors. By age 8, all 8 permanent incisors should be in place.
Last Primary Teeth Lost: Ages 10 to 12
During the ages of 8 to 10, there is typically not much change in tooth loss. However, children usually lose their last 12 primary teeth during their pre-teen years, between the ages of 10 and 12. The lower canines and upper first molars are the next to be replaced, followed by the lower first molars around age 11. At around 12 years old, a child will typically lose their lower second molars at the same time as their upper canines and second molars.
Remember: Some Variation is Normal
It’s important to keep in mind that not every child will follow the exact sequence of teeth falling out as outlined above. The order may vary slightly from child to child, but there is usually no cause for concern as long as it falls within a certain range. Some children may lose teeth faster while others may lose them slower.
For example, it is not uncommon for a 10-year-old to have already lost all of their baby teeth or for a 14-year-old to still have a few baby teeth. The real cause for concern occurs when certain patterns deviate too far from what is considered “normal” for a child’s age and stage of development.
Potential Problems with Tooth Loss
If a child loses baby teeth out of order, or if a tooth is lost and more than three months pass without a permanent replacement coming in, there may be an orthodontic issue worth evaluating. These issues could include crowded teeth, missing teeth, problems with the mechanisms of tooth loss, or crooked underlying teeth not pushing out a primary tooth.
Orthodontic Treatment Options at York Mills Orthodontics
If you are concerned about the order in which your child is losing their teeth or if there are any other potential orthodontic problems, your orthodontist at York Mills Orthodontics can check for these issues during an evaluation. The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child see an orthodontist before the age of 7 for an initial assessment.
At York Mills Orthodontics, we take a preventive two-phase approach to orthodontic treatment. The first phase is typically implemented when children are between the ages of 5 and 11 and can reduce the need for more invasive treatment in the future. This is because orthodontic or airway issues can cause or be related to snoring, eating problems, teeth grinding, speech issues, and more. There is a common misconception that a child’s permanent adult teeth must emerge before orthodontic treatment can begin. However, by assessing your child and identifying developing issues early on, we can take advantage of the natural growth patterns of a child’s jaws and palate to promote healthier development. The earlier orthodontic issues can be addressed with early intervention and treatment measures such as palate expansion, braces, or Invisalign First, the better our chances of achieving positive outcomes for oral and overall health.
The second phase of treatment involves fine-tuning your child’s smile as they reach their teenage years. Because we will have dealt with jaw development and functionality issues in Phase 1, Phase 2 is often shorter (6 to 12 months) and simpler. Depending on individual factors and treatment goals, this could mean treatment with braces or Invisalign clear aligners to adjust the bite.
If you have concerns about your child’s tooth loss or oral growth and development, York Mills Orthodontics can help. Our team is dedicated to providing solutions for whole-body well-being and can assess your child’s teeth to recommend the best treatment options. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your concerns with our team.