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Frequently asked questions to a Dentist York

When do children lose their baby teeth?

Baby teeth are also known as deciduous, primary or milk teeth.

Between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, the baby teeth begin to push through the gums. This process is called eruption or teething. By the time a child is 3 years old, he or she has a set of 20 deciduous teeth, 10 in the lower and 10 in the upper jaw. Each jaw has four incisors, two canines, and four molars. The purposes of the molars are to grind food, and the incisors and canine teeth are used to bite into and tear food.

By the time the average child is 6 years old, the first baby teeth become loose, usually the two lower central incisors. The looseness is a result of their roots dissolving. By the time the adult teeth start to push through the gums, the rootless baby teeth are loose and ready to come out. These are often placed under the child’s pillow for the tooth fairy!

The baby teeth help the permanent adult teeth to push through into their normal positions and most of the permanent teeth form close to the roots of the baby teeth.

Permanent tooth development continues over the next 15 years, as the jaw steadily grows into its adult form. From ages 6 to 9, the incisors and first molars come through. Between ages 10 and 12, the first and second premolars, as well as the canines erupt. From 12 to 13, the second molars come through. The wisdom teeth (third molars) usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 22.


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