Baby teeth act as placeholders to guide permanent teeth into the correct position. At Stellar Kids Dentistry in Mukilteo, Mill Creek, and Everett, Washington, our pediatric dentists understand the importance of baby teeth. But what happens if your child loses one earlier than expected?
Many parents wonder if baby teeth, or primary teeth, can fall out too early. Let’s break down what baby teeth, why they’re important, and what happens if your child loses one too soon.
What are baby teeth?
Also called milk teeth, these are the temporary teeth children have before their permanent teeth emerge. They serve as stand-ins, guiding your child’s permanent teeth into proper alignment for a strong, healthy smile.
When do baby teeth come in?
Babies should have their first tooth by the age of one. Many get their first tooth as early as six months. The front lower teeth are typically the first to emerge, then the upper front teeth. Most children have all of their baby teeth by the age of three.
At what age do kids lose baby teeth?
Children typically lose their first tooth around age six. They continue losing baby teeth for about six more years. By age 12, most children have lost all of their milk teeth, with their permanent molars being the last to emerge.
Can kids lose baby teeth too early?
The short answer: Yes! Children can lose baby teeth too early, and if they do, it’s important to connect with a pediatric dentist at Stellar Kids Dentistry. This is especially true if your child starts losing their baby teeth around ages three or four, long before their permanent teeth are ready to erupt.
What happens if my child loses a baby tooth too early?
Since baby teeth guide permanent teeth into place, your child’s permanent teeth need to be close to emerging by the time they fall out. If your child loses a baby tooth before the permanent tooth underneath has started growing, the adjacent teeth begin shifting into the empty space.
Once your child’s teeth begin shifting, they’re no longer in the correct position. This increases their risk of developing malaligned teeth (crooked teeth).
What causes baby teeth to fall out too soon?
Premature baby tooth loss results from many different causes, such as:
An injury to the mouth can knock out a baby tooth earlier than anticipated. If your child plays sports, make sure they have a custom-made sports guard to protect their teeth from damage.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, in an infection of the gums that causes chronic inflammation. It’s often the result of poor hygiene, lack of proper nutrition, or genetics. Healthy gums hold your child’s teeth securely in place, so talk to a childrens’ dentist at Stellar Kids Dentistry to discuss treatment options if your child has periodontal disease.
Severe tooth decay, or cavities, increases your child’s risk of tooth loss, tooth erosion, broken teeth, and other common dental concerns.
If you have more questions about your child losing baby teeth early, talk to a kids’ dentist at Stellar Kids Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today!