How Baby Teeth Erupt and Fall Out (3 Tooth Care Tips)

Last Updated on: 22nd May 2024, 11:05 am


Have you ever wondered How baby teeth erupt and fall out? Every individual has two sets of teeth: primary (baby) and permanent ones. Baby teeth are present during early childhood, and as the child develops, they naturally shed to pave the way for the permanent teeth that will stay with them throughout their lifetime. Next, we will provide you with all the details about this fascinating process.


What are Milk Teeth and How are they Formed?

milk teeth
milk teeth

Temporary teeth, or milk teeth, are the first set of teeth a person has throughout life. These begin their formation in the womb, between the sixth and eighth week of gestation. But as is well known, babies do not have teeth at birth; they are still hidden in the bone, just finishing forming.

Around 6 months of age, milk teeth begin to appear in the mouth. The teeth that erupt first are the lower front teeth, followed by the upper front teeth, and lastly, the molars. From then on, an average of 4 new teeth will appear in the baby’s mouth every 6 months, until completing a total of 20 temporary teeth: 10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw. Around the age of 3, a child will have a complete set of milk teeth.


Why do Milk Teeth Fall Out?

Baby teeth are the perfect size for the jaws of a young child, who will chew small bites and consume small portions. But as the skull grows, larger teeth are needed, and that’s where the permanent teeth appear.


How baby teeth erupt and fall out?

how baby teeth erupt and fall out
tooth begins to move

All teeth have a root and a crown. When the time comes, the permanent teeth still contained in the jaws will begin to progressively reabsorb the roots that support the milk teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out. Then, the permanent teeth will take the place of the temporary teeth; they will fill the posterior space of the jaws, making a total of 32 teeth.


When do the primary teeth fall down?

The loss of the first milk teeth usually occurs around 5 or 6 years of age, starting with the two lower central ones and continuing through the two upper central ones. Subsequently, the laterals fall out, and, finally, the molars and canines. Often, this dental change occurs earlier in girls. This process ends approximately between the ages of 12 and 13, completing the replacement of all milk teeth.


Do permanent teeth come in without others falling out?

As the jaws grow, the permanent molars come in at the back of the mouth, just behind the primary molars. The first molars erupt at the age of 6, the second molars between the ages of 12 and 13, and the third molars, or wisdom teeth, between the ages of 17 and 21.


What Happens if Milk Teeth do not Fall Out on their Own?

permanent teeth
permanent teeth

Sometimes baby teeth don’t loosen up enough and fall out on their own, so they can prevent permanent teeth from erupting. It is also possible that the permanent teeth erupt in another position and, therefore, the milk teeth do not loosen. For this reason, it is necessary that, from the first symptoms and the eruption of the first milk teeth, periodic dental check-ups are carried out.


What should be done when a Tooth Begins to Move?

It is advisable not to exert too much force on a tooth since the time that passes from when it starts to move until it falls out can be prolonged; in fact, sudden movements could damage the permanent tooth or the gums. Thus, it is best to wait for the tooth to loosen progressively and naturally. When a lot of movement is observed and it hinders talking or eating, it is possible to remove it or motivate the child to remove it on their own, as long as it does not hurt.


Does falling teeth hurt?

Children may experience very mild pain when extracting a tooth about to fall out; they may also experience mild discomfort. Swishing salt water in the mouth or applying a cool, wet washcloth can improve symptoms and stop possible bleeding.


What is the difference Between Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth?

teeth positioned
teeth positioned

In addition to size and number, it is important to mention that temporary teeth differ from permanent teeth by having thinner enamel and dentin, leaving more space for the nerve. This makes them look whiter, and they can be more easily affected by decay. Another important factor is that, although the nerve or pulp is larger in milk teeth, they are less sensitive, meaning that discomfort takes time when there are cavities. When milk teeth hurt, it is usually due to very advanced caries.


What Care should be Taken?

Both temporary and permanent teeth must be cared for, as they are essential for chewing, speech, overall aesthetics, and child development. Decay and infections in milk teeth can damage permanent teeth. Also, losing baby teeth prematurely can cause permanent teeth to become improperly positioned. Therefore, the following is recommended:

    1. Brush the child’s teeth 3 times a day and use toothpaste.
    2. Have the child maintain a healthy diet, low in sugars and processed foods.
    3. Encourage the child to visit the dentist regularly, from the eruption of the first tooth.

Finally, remember that, although there are approximate ages for the eruption and fall of the teeth, each child is different; these processes can occur at different times for each one


Frequently Asked Questions

The first ones to go are typically the two bottom front teeth, known as the lower central incisors, and the two top front teeth, called the upper central incisors. After that, the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars follow suit.

The most effective way to loosen a baby tooth is by wiggling it as much as possible. Your child can aid the process by using their tongue or a clean fingertip to gently push the tooth. Encourage your child to employ a slow and steady approach.

If the tooth is not broken and the root is still attached, there’s a chance to save it. Acting swiftly is essential. First, investigate the tooth loss quickly, and then take prompt action. For the best outcome, try to place the tooth back into its original position, hold it there, and get your child to a dental professional without delay.

Typically, the pain from a loose tooth in a child subsides as soon as the baby tooth falls out. In most cases, losing baby teeth is not painful. However, there are instances when the permanent tooth may exert pressure on the nerves or push against the gums as it prepares to emerge, which can cause some discomfort.


Contact us

If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in  Oxnard, Santa Paula, VenturaNewbury Park, and  Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.



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