Why Does Your Older Child Still Have Baby Teeth?

Older Children and Baby Teeth | Treasured Smiles Dentistry
Posted on 02/28/2022
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Does your older child still have some of their baby teeth? By now you thought that you would be well past the tooth fairy stage. But your child doesn't have a full set of adult, or permanent, teeth yet. What gives? Take a look at what you need to know about baby teeth, tooth eruption, and what is (or isn't) a typical timeline for this process. 

When Do Children Have All Their Baby Teeth?

Like other areas of development, tooth eruption doesn't always happen at one specific time. Children are individuals — and this means they may reach milestones (dental or other areas) at slightly different times. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a child's first set of teeth (the primary or baby teeth) start to come in between six and 12 months of age. By three, most young children will have 20 baby teeth. This is considered a full set of primary teeth. 

When Do Baby Teeth Start to Fall Out?

Even though children may have had a full set of primary teeth by (or around) age three, they won't start to lose these teeth immediately. Many children begin to lose their primary teeth at age six, according to the Mayo Clinic. But this isn't the case for every child. Again, different children have different rates of dental development. This means it's possible for some children to lose teeth at age five, age seven, or even a slightly older age. 

While your child may start to lose their baby teeth at age six, you shouldn't expect every tooth to fall out before their seventh birthday. Your child's primary teeth didn't all erupt on the same day, week, or month. The same is true for their permanent teeth. 

Why Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

To understand your child's tooth loss time frame, you may need to learn more about why baby teeth fall out. Your child needs to make room in their mouth for larger permanent (or adult) teeth. As the permanent teeth get ready to erupt, they push the primary teeth out. When this happens, your child's baby teeth will loosen. But each type of permanent tooth won't try to push through at the same time. This results in a staggered tooth loss. 

According to the ADA, the first permanent teeth to erupt are typically the lower central incisors. This happens at six to seven years of age. Your child may also get their first molars at this time. The upper central incisors usually follow the lower teeth, erupting at seven to eight years. Your child will continue to lose baby teeth and gain permanent teeth for the next few years. The ADA notes that by age 13 most children will have lost their primary teeth and have 32 permanent teeth. 

Why Does Your Child Still Have Some Of Their Baby Teeth?

An older child who is 10, 11, or 12 is likely to have some of their primary teeth. The upper bicuspids may not erupt until 10 to 11 years and the canines may not come through until between 11 and 12 years of age, according to the ADA. 

Even though it's normal for older children to still have some of their baby teeth, it's also possible that your child may have a dental development issue. If the permanent tooth pushes through at an odd or off angle, it won't put the right amount of pressure on the primary tooth. The root of the primary tooth won't dissolve properly and the tooth will stay put. You may notice that your child has two rows of teeth — the baby tooth and the erupting permanent tooth.

Along with this issue, overcrowding can also stop a permanent tooth eruption. If you have concerns about your child's dental development, call the dentist for an exam. The dentist may need to x-ray the area to determine the cause of the delayed tooth loss.

Do you need to schedule a dental appointment for your child? Contact Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for more information.