What's happening in my child's mouth?
One of the most common reasons parents bring their children to the dentist is to ask, "Is this normal?" This question usually relates to loss of baby teeth and eruption of the adult or permanent teeth.
The important key to remember is that tooth eruption/loss is as variable as growth is with kids. There are average ranges in age that we use as guides to evaluate if a child is within the normal eruption sequence.
In general most babies begin to get their first teeth between 6-10 months of age and will have all of their baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old.
The front baby teeth (the incisors) typically begin to get loose between the ages of 6-8 years. The four front top and bottom teeth are usually all lost between the ages of 6-9 years of age. The rest of the back baby teeth are typically lost between the ages of 9-12 years of age.
Between the ages of 6-12 years a child's mouth has a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth. Dentists refer to this condition as the 'mixed dentition' phase and it is common to see a wide range of variation among children of this age group.
The above ages are a range of the average age and it is common for children to fall outside of these ranges slightly. If you are concerned about delayed eruption of baby or permanent teeth it is always a good idea to see your dentist for an evaluation. Most dentists will be able to determine if there is an issue with an exam and possibly a panoramic x-ray which can show in detail the entire jaw and developing teeth.