There’s a game parents subconsciously play when their kids get all their primary teeth. A guessing game, actually. Since it’s a matter of time before your child’s baby teeth fall out, the question isn’t so much if they’ll get loose teeth, but what age do kids lose their teeth.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of answers on the internet that you can source from. General consensus states that it’s roughly around age four and seven that your kids start getting their first loose tooth. Other people tend to settle for six years of age. But even so, first-time tooth-losing tots and their new parents might wonder whether that jiggly tooth is a normal part of life or if it’s a sign of something more dubious.
But fear not, friends. If you’re a new parent who’s not sure if their child’s loose tooth is ripe for pulling, here’s how to know when your kid’s baby teeth will fall out:
What does a baby tooth look like when it falls out?
Like most significant milestones, a baby tooth that’s about to fall will usually show signs of what’s to come. To know what to look for, it’s essential to know how baby teeth fall out in the first place.
While your child is in the womb, their teeth begin to form underneath their gums. But just because they’ve developed doesn’t mean they’ll appear right away. On the contrary, it will take a while before their first tooth erupts.
But baby teeth aren’t the only teeth developing at this stage. Your kids’ permanent teeth are also forming during this time, albeit the top parts only. The roots eventually grow as they emerge from the gums.
Before the adult teeth can erupt, however, the primary teeth need to get out of the way. That process is fortunately very painless. The roots of your primary teeth—which are initially long and pointed—dissolve into small stubs. This disintegration loosens their grip onto the bone and makes the baby teeth easier to pluck out.
Once a baby tooth falls off, you might have noticed that it leaves a small tissue protrusion afterward. Because the tooth no longer has its roots, the tiny bit of pulp left inside it comes out as well, becoming scar tissue. But this isn’t always the case—usually, when that scar is present, it means that the tooth fell loose later than intended.
At what age do kids lose their teeth permanently?
Now here’s another tricky question—when can your kids lose their teeth permanently? The answer is simple: once they get their first adult tooth. Some kids can get it as early as age six, with their full set of permanent teeth coming in by age 13.
But this range isn’t set in stone. Some individuals may find their teeth falling off well until your child is 18. This condition is called over-retained teeth, which may be symptomatic of a deeper problem. If you find that some of your kids have this problem, you might need to see a dentist.
Barring this, however, a delay of less than one year is still within the normal range. So if your kids start having wobbly teeth even if their adult teeth have come in, be vigilant—it’s best to bring your child straight to the dentist at this stage.