Let’s face it: losing a tooth can be a pretty big deal for a little kid. It’s a wiggle here, a wobble there, and suddenly, there’s a gap in their grin—but hey, that just means a visit from the Tooth Fairy is on the way! But between the excitement and the occasional wobbly-tooth tears, you might wonder: How many teeth do kids lose?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. This guide will answer all your burning questions about baby teeth, grown-up chompers, and everything in between.

We’ll explain the difference between those first pearly whites and the permanent teeth waiting to come in, discuss when baby teeth fall out, and share some tips on keeping your kiddo’s smile sparkling.

So, grab your toothbrush (and maybe a tissue or two for those happy tears), and get ready to dive into the wiggly, wobbly world of growing up!

The Two Sets Your Kid’s Smile Gets: A Breakdown Of Baby Teeth And Permanent Teeth

Before diving into the counting game of lost teeth, let’s peek behind the curtain and see what’s happening inside that adorable little grin. It all starts with two squads of chompers: the baby teeth (primary teeth) and the permanent teeth (adult teeth).

How Many Teeth Do Kids Lose missingThink of the first baby teeth as your child’s first set of training wheels for chewing. These 20 little troopers erupt throughout the first few years of life, starting around six months, and are usually all present by age 3. They’re smaller and less strong than their permanent counterparts, but that’s okay!

Their main job is to hold space in the jaw for the bigger, stronger permanent teeth waiting to come in later. They also help your little one learn to chew and speak—pretty important stuff for those early years!

Now, let’s talk about the permanent adult teeth—the A-team of chompers that take over chewing duties for a lifetime (with proper care, of course!).

There are 32 permanent teeth, including some familiar faces, such as incisors for biting and canines for tearing, and some recruits, like molars for grinding.

These permanent teeth start erupting around age six and keep coming in waves until your child reaches their late teens or early twenties (wisdom teeth, anyone?).

Out With The Old, In With The New! Counting Down The Lost Baby Teeth

Alright, alright, enough with the dental drama! By now, you’re probably chomping at the bit (pun intended) to know the answer to the big question: how many teeth do those little grin champions actually lose?

Buckle up because here comes the grand reveal!

It’s important to remember that every kiddo is unique, and the order in which their teeth fall out can vary slightly. But there’s usually a predictable pattern, with the front teeth taking the lead and the back molars making their grand exit last.

So, don’t panic if your little one seems to be losing teeth in a different order than their best friend—their smile squad is just following its own unique schedule.

The Timeline Of Growing In All Those Adult Teeth

Here’s a handy cheat sheet to keep track of the usual wobbly-tooth timeline:

  • Age 6–8 years: Lower central incisors (the cute little guys in the front bottom) and upper central incisors (their counterparts up top)
  • Age 7–9 years: Lateral incisors (the teeth next to the central incisors—kind of like the bodyguards for the front two)
  • Age 9–12 years: Canine teeth (the pointy ones—perfect for ripping into that chewy apple!) and first molars (the back teeth that help with serious grinding)
  • Age 10–12 years: Second molars (the last set of baby molars to make their exit)

Bonus Round: The Wisdom Teeth (Third Molars)

Remember those 32 permanent teeth we mentioned earlier? Four more permanent molars can erupt way later in life, usually between 17 and 23. These are the wisdom teeth; let’s just say they can be a bit of a wild bunch.

Sometimes, there’s not enough space in the jaw for them to come in properly, which can lead to crowding or other issues. That’s why some people need their wisdom teeth removed by a dentist, but that’s a story for another day!

From Tears To Cheers: Making Your Child’s Lost Tooth A Positive Experience

Ah, the infamous loose tooth! It can be a time of mixed emotions for your little one—excitement about the Tooth Fairy’s impending visit and worry about that gap in their smile.

Here’s how you can be a superstar support system during this wiggly adventure:

Be A Reassurance Rocket

Losing a tooth is a normal part of growing up, so let your child know it’s nothing to worry about! Explain that a brand new, stronger tooth is waiting to be placed under the gums.

The Wiggle Coach

If your child’s tooth feels shaky, you can gently explain that it’s getting ready to fall out. Let them know it’s okay to wiggle it with their tongue or fingers but discourage any forceful pulling or wiggling that could damage the new tooth coming in.

The Tooth Fairy Tradition

The Tooth Fairy tradition can be a fun way to make losing a tooth a positive experience. Leave a little surprise under their pillow (or wherever your Tooth Fairy roams) to celebrate this exciting milestone!

The Big Wait: How Long Does It Take For Kids To Get Their Complete Grown-Up Smile?

How Many Teeth Do Kids Lose toddlerGrowing a whole new set of teeth takes time, and that’s perfectly normal. While most kiddos lose all their baby teeth by age 12, it can take until their late teens or even early twenties for all their permanent teeth to fully erupt, including those wisdom teeth we mentioned earlier.

Here’s the thing: patience is a superhero power for growing teeth! It might seem like a long wait, but trust us, those new chompers are taking their sweet time to ensure they come in strong and healthy.

From Milk Moustaches To Mighty Chompers: Cultivating Healthy Habits For A Lifetime Of Smiles

Just like any superhero team, your child’s teeth need a good training regimen to stay strong and healthy. Here are some essential tips to help them build a sparkling smile brigade:

Brush, Brush, Brush!

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s super important to start brushing your kiddo’s teeth twice with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste as soon as their very first tooth erupts. You might need to lend a helping hand to young kids until they develop the dexterity to brush effectively (around age 6 or 7).

Flossing Power!

Once your child has teeth that touch each other (usually around age 2 or 3), flossing daily becomes their secret weapon against sneaky plaque and food particles that brushing can miss.

Fuelling Those Chompers

Limit sugary foods and drinks that damage pearly whites. Instead, focus on a healthy diet packed with fruits, veggies, and whole grains to give your child’s smile squad the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Regular Dental HQ Checkups

Schedule dental checkups and cleanings for your kiddo, starting at age one or when their first tooth erupts. Think of the dentist as their personal smile coach, checking for any potential problems early on and cleaning them professionally to keep those chompers sparkling.

More Than Just Lost Teeth: Signs Your Child Needs A Super Smile Checkup

While losing teeth is a regular part of childhood, there are some situations where it’s best to call in the dental cavalry:

  • Early Or Late Tooth Loss: If your kid loses a tooth significantly earlier or later than the typical timeline, a dentist can check for any underlying issues.
  • Painful Wobbly Tooth: A loose tooth that causes your child pain or does not fall out naturally after a reasonable amount of wiggling might need a dentist’s gentle touch.
  • Gummy Troubles: Bleeding or swollen gums can indicate infection or gum disease. The dentist can come to the rescue and get those gums healthy again.
  • Chewing And Speaking Blues: If your child has trouble chewing or speaking due to a loose or lost tooth, a dentist can assess the situation and recommend solutions to get their smile back in tip-top shape.
  • Smile Squad Mischief: You might notice crowding or misalignment as permanent teeth erupt. Don’t worry; a dentist who excels at straightening teeth can be your partner in crime-fighting to achieve a perfectly aligned smile.
  • Dental Drama: If your child experiences a chipped, cracked, or knocked-out tooth, it’s important to seek immediate dental care to minimise potential complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My child swallowed their baby tooth. Is that a problem?

In most cases, swallowing a baby tooth is not a cause for concern. The small size of the tooth will usually pass through your child’s digestive system without any issues. However, consult a dentist if your child experiences any discomfort or seems unwell.

My child is scared of the dentist. What can I do?

Many children experience dental anxiety. Here are some tips to help:

  • Start Early: Schedule your child’s first dental visit at a young age (around age 1) for a positive introductory experience.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Talk about the dentist in a positive light and explain that they are there to help keep your child’s smile healthy.
  • Role-Playing: Play pretend dentist at home to familiarise your child with the dental environment.
  • Choose A Child-Friendly Dentist: Look for a dentist who’s experienced in treating children and has a welcoming atmosphere.

Can my child use adult toothpaste?

It’s generally not recommended for young children to use adult toothpaste because it contains a higher fluoride concentration. For children under age 3, use fluoride-free toothpaste specifically designed for babies and toddlers. Once your child is three years old and can spit effectively, you can switch to a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste (around 1,000 ppm fluoride).

Smiling Bright: The Takeaway For Your Child’s Healthy Grin Journey

How Many Teeth Do Kids Lose decayPhew! That was a whirlwind tour of the wonderful world of growing up and losing teeth. Remember, losing baby teeth and growing permanent teeth is a natural part of childhood. Understanding this process can make you a super-supportive sidekick in your child’s smile journey.

So, the next time your little one sports a gap-toothed grin, remember it’s a sign of exciting growth and development. With a little knowledge, a sprinkle of patience, and much encouragement, you can help your child build a healthy smile that will last a lifetime!

Contact Available Dental Care, Campbelltown NSW 2560, at (02) 4601 3828 to safeguard your child’s baby teeth.


“Dental Care for Pre-teens: 9-11 Years.” Raising Children Network, 1 July 2022, raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/healthy-lifestyle/hygiene-dental-care/dental-care-9-11-years.

Department of Health & Human Services. “Teeth Development in Children.” Better Health Channel, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/teeth-development-in-children.

Hughes, Sara L., et al. “Early Tooth Loss in Children: A Warning Sign of Childhood Hypophosphatasia.” Dental Update, vol. 44, no. 4, Apr. 2017, pp. 317–21. https://doi.org/10.12968/denu.2017.44.4.317.

Lewsley, Joanne. Everything to Know About When a Child Loses Their First Tooth. 28 Feb. 2022, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/when-do-kids-lose-their-first-tooth.

Moorrees, Coenraad F. A., et al. “Age Variation of Formation Stages for Ten Permanent Teeth.” Journal of Dental Research, vol. 42, no. 6, Nov. 1963, pp. 1490–502. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345630420062701.

Nelson, Suchitra, et al. “Do Baby Teeth Really Matter? Changing Parental Perception and Increasing Dental Care Utilization for Young Children.” Contemporary Clinical Trials, vol. 59, Aug. 2017, pp. 13–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2017.05.002.

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