A common question from a lot of parents is whether or not their child’s baby teeth are falling out in a normal manner. There is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to our kids’ teeth, and this blog post will cover the topic in more detail.
What is normal?
Most children’s baby teeth begin erupting around the age of six months. Between four and seven, most kids will begin to lose their baby teeth. The teeth typically fall out in the same order that they grew in, starting with the lower central incisors. Generally, the order matters more than the specific age at which they fall out. If teeth fall out in the wrong order, orthodontic problems are possible.
Teeth that fall out too early
Teeth that fall out in the wrong order may be falling out too early. Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth, so a prematurely shed baby tooth could mean that the eventual adult tooth won’t have enough space to erupt. A space maintainer is a very simple orthodontic appliance that can be bonded in a child’s mouth to prevent the space from closing.
If your child loses any teeth before the age of four, consult a dentist or orthodontist.
Teeth that fall out too late
If your child hasn’t lost any teeth by the age of eight, it’s worth getting them evaluated by an orthodontist. Sometimes this happens in a child who is simply a late bloomer. In other cases, there may be a problem that your orthodontist can help with.
Do all baby teeth need to be lost before orthodontic treatment?
Not always. For phase 1 treatments (a smaller set of braces for younger children), brackets will be placed on the adult teeth. Sometimes small eyelets are added onto the baby teeth to aid in expansion of the arch, but the wire can easily be made to bypass these teeth if they begin to get wiggly. For phase 2 (full braces), we typically wait for nearly all the adult teeth to be in.
Part of the reason the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child see an orthodontist at the age of 7 is so that baby teeth can be monitored. Your San Tan Valley orthodontist can make sure that teeth are falling out in the correct order and offer solutions when needed. Contact us at Peterson Family Orthodontics for a free consultation if you have any concerns about your child’s baby teeth.