When do children lose their "baby" teeth?

Dear Kim,

My daughter is 10 years old and just lost the first molar on the top left side behind her canine tooth. Is this normal? I thought she had lost all of the teeth that she was supposed to already.

What teeth are children supposed to lose and when?


Dear Al,

This is a question that many of my patients have asked. Children almost always have 20 primary (baby) teeth. Rarely, supernumerary (extra) teeth may be present. The 20 primary teeth will all be lost eventually. The primary teeth include the central incisors which are lost at about 6 years of age, the lateral incisors which are lost at 6-7 years of age and the canines, first molars and second molars all of which are lost between 10 and 12 years of age. Of course, all these ages are averages.

The ages when permanent teeth erupt to replace the primary teeth can also vary. However, they usually erupt shortly after the primary tooth is lost. This is because the erupting permanent tooth causes the root of the primary tooth to be resorbed. As the permanent tooth pushes upward, there is less root present to secure the primary tooth.

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