How Children’s Teeth Erupt and Fall Out

How Children’s Teeth Erupt and Fall Out

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Do you remember putting your baby teeth under your pillow and waking up to money left by the tooth fairy? One of the most memorable moments children experience are when they lose their baby teeth. The process of a baby getting his or her first set of baby teeth and then losing them for the permanent set takes several years and has its ups and downs. Let’s take a look at the process of going from no teeth as a baby to getting our permanent set of teeth as children.

Getting Your First Set of Teeth

The first set of teeth are called baby teeth precisely because they start to erupt at about six months of age. Also known as deciduous teeth, baby teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth that come several years later. By erupting early, baby teeth enable young children to begin eating solid foods. The teething process may be natural, but it can still cause significant discomfort and pain. Some teeth, such as the molars, are less efficient at penetrating gum tissue as they grow. As a result, they tend to cause more pain and inflammation. Children with teething problems may have a hard time chewing, potentially affecting their nutrition. The pain may also disrupt their sleep and make them cranky. The inflammation may also cause excessive saliva production which leads to drooling. 

The first two baby teeth to emerge are usually incisors at the front of the jaw. Other teeth appear in pairs, one in each side. Generally, the bottom teeth emerge first. On average, four new baby teeth appear every six months. However, the pace of tooth development varies from child to child.

In most cases, all baby teeth erupt by the time a child is three years old. Every child keeps his or her baby teeth until about six years of age. As the jawbone grows during childhood, these teeth give way for permanent teeth more suitable for an adult mouth. At this point, one by one, the child’s baby teeth will fall out and be replaced with a permanent set that are supposed to last for the rest of the child’s life.

Getting Your Permanent Set of Teeth

Unlike baby teeth, permanent teeth are larger and fit more closely together in the mouth. The permanent teeth grow and make their way up to the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. This process slowly erodes the roots of the baby teeth and allows them to loosen and fall out of their sockets. After the baby teeth fall out, the permanent teeth slowly dig through the gum tissue until they break free of the surface.

All baby teeth are replaced with permanent teeth for most children by the age of 12. The last few permanent teeth to show up are the wisdom teeth, located at the back of the jaw, between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth do not have baby teeth counterparts and make space for themselves as they grow. Sometimes, they put pressure on adjacent teeth, potentially causing a tooth impaction and must be removed. A frequent problem with tooth eruptions occurs with wisdom teeth. They can cause impactions, which can trigger pain and swelling. The developing wisdom teeth may also push on other teeth, causing them to become misaligned. This can lead to overcrowding or the need to realign the teeth through braces.

Dental care is a crucial component of ensuring your child has a beautiful and healthy smile to carry throughout life. No matter how old your child is, having an experienced and trustworthy dentist by your side will ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy every step of the way. The dentistry experts at 360 Dental can help you with any tooth problems that you and your family may have. Call us at (541) 689-1645 or set a consultation online and get the dental care you deserve!