How Many Baby Teeth Fall Out

Losing baby teeth is a part of growing up. Most children have a full set of 20 milk or baby teeth by the time they’re 3 years old. When they reach 5 or 6, these teeth will start to fall out, making way for adult teeth. It’s also normal for adult teeth to stay hidden under the gums as late as age 13.

By age 3, most children have a full set of 20 milk or baby teeth. When they reach 5 or 6, these teeth will start to fall out, making way for adult teeth.

Children in the UK have a full set of 20 milk or baby teeth by the time they’re 3 years old. By age 6, these ‘milk’ or baby teeth start to fall out, making way for adult teeth (permanent teeth).

Children’s teeth start to come through (erupt) at around 6 months old. Most babies have all their 20 milk or baby teeth by the time they’re 3 years old. The first teeth usually to go are the central bottom teeth (central incisors), followed by the top ones. By the time your child is 5 or 6, they should have lost all these baby teeth, which then make way for the adult (permanent) teeth.

At birth, most babies have their first set of teeth already formed in their gums. By age 3, they have a full set of 20 baby teeth. But at 5 or 6, these teeth begin to fall out and make way for adult teeth — a process that continues until around age 21.

Milk or baby teeth start to fall out around the ages of 5 or 6, making room for adult teeth.

Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and smile. Your child’s teeth also help give his or her face its shape and keep space in the jaw for adult teeth.

A baby’s teeth start to come in when the baby is about six months old. Baby teeth will later be lost one by one. This makes space for adult (permanent) teeth. By the time children are teenagers, they usually have all of their adult teeth. The last four teeth that come in are the wisdom teeth.

The charts below tell the names of the baby and adult teeth. The pictures show when each tooth usually comes in and is lost. But not all children get the same teeth at the same times. Your child’s teeth may erupt earlier or later than the ages in these charts.

Healthy baby (primary) teeth
Healthy adult (permanent) teeth

How Many Baby Teeth Do You Lose A Year?

So, the answer to how many baby teeth a child loses is, of course, all of them—about 20. Some children have specific developmental differences that affect how many baby teeth develop.

When you become a parent, it can seem like you’re constantly confirming that your little one meets the popular milestones on time. One of those big moments — almost as big as when that first little tooth cuts through the gums — is when your child gets their first visit from the tooth fairy.

Here’s when you can expect your child to begin losing their baby teeth, common concerns, and potential complications — and what you need to know to stay on top of your child’s dental health.

Baby teeth chart — when they appear and when they fall out 

Each child will sprout and lose teeth on their own timeline. When new teeth appear, the official term is eruption. While most people think of them as baby teeth (also known as milk teeth or primary teeth), their formal name is deciduous teeth. In total, your child will have 20 baby teeth to chow down their snacks.

Your baby will begin to gain teeth around 6 months of age, and this will continue until around the age of 3. From the age of 6, your child will eventually lose all of their baby teeth by the time they’re 12 years old. By the time your child reaches their teenage years, they’ll have 32 permanent adult teeth.

Tooth name and positionEruption timelineLoss timeline
Lower central incisors6 to 10 months old6 to 7 years old
Upper central incisors8 to 12 months old6 to 7 years old
Upper lateral incisors9 to 13 months old7 to 8 years old
Lower lateral incisors10 to 16 months old7 to 8 years old
Upper first molars13 to 19 months old9 to 11 years old
Lower first molars14 to 18 months old9 to 11 years old
Upper canines16 to 22 months old10 to 12 years old
Lower canines17 to 23 months old9 to 12 years old
Lower second molars23 to 31 months old10 to 12 years old
Upper second molars25 to 33 months old10 to 12 years old

Why do we have two sets of teeth?

So why do baby teeth fall out, anyway? It turns out that those baby teeth act as placeholders, creating space in the jaw for future, permanent teeth.

For most children, their baby teeth begin to fall out around the age of 6. Of course, all of the teeth don’t fall out at one time!

When a permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the root of a baby tooth begins to dissolve until it’s completely gone. At that point, the tooth is “loose” and only held in place by the surrounding gum tissue.

First out: Central incisors

You might be surprised to find that most people lose their baby teeth in the order that they erupted.

As such, since the lower central incisors are the first teeth to appear around 6 months of age, they’re also the first to come loose and make room for your child’s permanent teeth when they’re around 6 or 7 years old.

After the lower central incisors, the upper central incisors come out, making way for the bigger upper central incisors we all expect to see on adults.

For some children, losing teeth can be an exciting time, especially if you introduce fun concepts like the tooth fairy. For others, it can be a little upsetting, as something that they thought was permanent (their tooth) just came out of their mouth!

Likewise, it’s not uncommon for children to experience a little pain or discomfort when they lose a tooth. After the tooth is removed:

  1. Have your child rinse their mouth with a simple saltwater solution to help clean their gums.
  2. Use a bit of gauze to help cover the area, which is known as a socket, and encourage them not to spit, as this can cause bleeding.
  3. Apply a cold, wet cloth after any bleeding has stopped if there’s pain or discomfort.

Next up: Lateral incisors

After the central incisors have been shed, the next baby teeth to go will be your child’s lateral incisors. Generally, the upper lateral incisors loosen first. This will usually happen between the ages of 7 and 8.

At this point, your child should be more familiar with the experience of losing a tooth. Ideally, it should no longer be a scary experience, as they’ll have already lost four teeth prior to the lateral incisors.

Let’s see those choppers: Primary first molars

Compared with when your child’s teeth first erupted, losing them can be a significantly easier process for parents. While teething may be uncomfortable in general, incoming molars might be especially painful for babies and toddlers.

In contrast, the primary molars (also known as first molars) usually aren’t painful when they fall out or are replaced by permanent molars. These primary first molars are usually shed between the ages of 9 and 11 years old.

Final act: Primary second molars and canines

The last sets of baby teeth to go are the canines and primary second molars. The canines are usually lost between the ages of 9 and 12 years old, while the primary second molars are the last baby teeth that your child will lose. These final sets of teeth are usually shed between the ages of 10 and 12.

As your child grows, their jaws also grow to accommodate the larger permanent teeth. Once your child reaches the age of 13, they should have a full set of permanent teeth.

The encore: What about wisdom teeth?

Once your child reaches their late teen years, their wisdom teeth (third molars) may come in. You might be surprised to learn that not everyone gets their wisdom teeth. Some only get a few instead of the full four wisdom teeth, and not everyone needs them removed.

These final sets of molars are called wisdom teeth because of the folklore belief that you only get these teeth once you’re more mature and have gained some knowledge due to having more life experiences.

What if my child doesn’t follow this timeline?

The timeline shared here is just a general guideline. If your child’s teeth were slow to erupt, you should expect that losing their baby teeth might take a little longer, too.

However, if your child has missed their dental milestones by a year (whether eruption or shedding), speak with your child’s dentist.

Scheduling dental visits

Regardless of what is (or isn’t) happening in your child’s mouth, by their first birthday, you should schedule an appointment. After the first visit, your child should visit the dentist every 6 months.

The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you don’t already have a pediatric dentist.

And what’s the going rate for a tooth these days?

Not everyone introduces the tooth fairy to their child, but it is a way to make a major milestone fun. You may wonder how much the tooth fairy should leave. The answer is… it varies. Some parents prefer to keep expectations simple with a few quarters, while others give a few dollars.

In general, the tooth fairy tends to be most generous for the first tooth!

THE TRANSITION


Adult teeth start to form under the baby teeth. After the baby teeth are lost, the adult teeth will come in through the gums.

Most children go through a stage when they have a mix of primary and permanent teeth. During this time the smile can look uneven, with some big teeth, some small teeth, some crowded teeth or maybe even some missing teeth. Try not to worry. Smiles often even out once all the permanent teeth are in place.

When your child is about age seven, the dentist will do a “bite check” to make sure your child’s adult teeth are coming in properly and that the back teeth are working together the way they should. You dentist may also take an x-ray of the teeth. If your child’s teeth or bite need treatment, it’s best to get an early start.

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