Baby teeth: When do children start losing them?
A child's baby teeth (primary teeth) typically begin to loosen and fall out to make room for permanent teeth at about age 6. However, sometimes this can be delayed by as much as a year.
The first baby teeth to fall out are typically the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) and the two top front teeth (upper central incisors), followed by the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and second molars.
Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.
It's important to start practicing good oral hygiene as soon as your child's first baby tooth erupts. As your child starts to lose his or her baby teeth, reinforce the importance of proper dental care. For example:
- Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and offer assistance as needed.
- Help your child clean between his or her teeth daily.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and beverages.
- Schedule regular dental visits for your child.
With proper care, you can help your child's permanent teeth last a lifetime.
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