At What Age Do Temporary Teeth Shed

At What Age Do Temporary Teeth Shed

At What Age Do Temporary Teeth Shed

Throughout your children’s lives, there are multiple milestones you may look forward to as a parent, being deciduous teeth shedding one of them.

This event means that your children are growing up and that their deciduous teeth, commonly known as temporary teeth, need to be replaced with their stronger counterparts.

Even if you have been taking proper care of your children’s teeth using a sonic clean toothbrush, their deciduous teeth will shed eventually. However, there are many doubts about this process, such as when it begins and how does it happen?

When Does It Begin?

Every child is different, and the eruption times among one and other may vary slightly. However, the time discrepancies are often insignificant and don’t represent an issue.

At around 3 years old, your children should have a complete deciduous dentition made of a total of 20 teeth: 10 in the maxillary bone and 10 in the jaw bone. This deciduous dentition will stay in the mouth until the shedding process is completed and helps prepare the mouth for the permanent teeth to erupt.

The shedding process usually begins when the child is 6 years old. However, it is related to the deciduous dentition eruption. Therefore, if your child’s deciduous teeth erupted late, their permanent teeth will also do the same.

Moreover, permanent teeth usually erupt in a slightly similar pattern to deciduous teeth. However, it is vital to understand that the first permanent teeth to erupt are the first molars, and it does it at the back of the second deciduous molars without replacing any tooth, meaning that your children will have their first permanent teeth without shedding any deciduous teeth.

After a tooth has been shed, it takes some time for the permanent to erupt through the gums. Although there could be alterations, the traditional shedding pattern is the following:

  1. Lower central incisors: 6 – 7 years
  2. Upper central incisors: 6 – 7 years
  3. Upper lateral incisors: 7 – 8 years
  4. Lower lateral incisors: 7 – 8 years
  5. First upper molars: 9 – 11 years
  6. First lower molars: 9 – 11 years
  7. Lower canines: 9 – 12 years
  8. Upper canines: 9 – 12 years
  9. Second lower molars: 10 – 12 years
  10. Second upper molars: 10 – 12 years

It is essential to know that, unlike deciduous dentition, permanent dentition possesses 32 teeth. The difference in the numbers comes from the presence of the premolars and the third molars.

When shedding, deciduous first and second molars are replaced with permanent first and second premolars. However, as they are the last teeth to erupt before the second and third molars, they get less space in many cases, which leads to malocclusion.

How Does Shedding Occur?

The shedding process begins a bit before the deciduous tooth is loose.

It starts with the teeth formation process called odontogenesis. Moreover, permanent teeth odontogenesis begins when the child has only 20 weeks in the uterus. Once the tooth crown formation is completed, the roots will begin to form, making the teeth erupt.

As the permanent teeth move towards the gums, they will cause the roots of the deciduous tooth ahead to begin a resorption process. Therefore, slowly shrinking them and loosening the tooth.

Once the roots have been completely dissolved, the deciduous tooth will be held in place only by the gums, leaving it ready to be safely and easily extracted by the child or its parents or exfoliating on its own while eating something.

Why Are The Teeth Not Shedding?

On some occasions, teeth development can occur at later dates. Thereby, the shedding process will begin later than expected. Moreover, it is considered normal if teeth are shed 6 months to a year later than they should.

However, if it doesn’t happen after a year of the usual term, it is highly advised to visit the dentist for a checkup. He will take an x-ray of your child’s mouth to assess the cause of the delay.

The most common reason includes conditions such as:

  • Tooth agenesis: A condition where one or multiple permanent teeth doesn’t form. The only reason why deciduous teeth are shed or exfoliated is that the underlying permanent teeth induce their root resorption. Therefore, if it is missing, the tooth roots will be left intact, and it won’t loosen, allowing the child to maintain the deciduous tooth.
  • Impacted tooth: On some occasions, the permanent tooth can try to erupt at odd angles, hitting against another tooth or tissue and preventing it from erupting. It can prevent the tooth it should replace from shedding as its roots won’t undergo resorption.
  • Out of arch eruption: Sometimes, the permanent tooth can erupt out of the dental arch without getting impacted. Usually, when this happens, it will be positioned in front or behind the deciduous tooth.

If your children possess tooth agenesis, the deciduous tooth must be treated with care as a permanent tooth will not replace it. However, if the lack of shedding is due to the permanent tooth erupting at an odd angle, the dentist will suggest the extraction of the deciduous tooth and orthodontic treatment to move the permanent tooth into the correct position.

Conclusively, deciduous teeth shedding is a long process that usually begins with central incisors when your child is around 6 – 7 years old and finishes with the replacement of the second molars with premolars between 10 – 12 years old.

However, these eruption times can vary between children, making some of them shed earlier or later than others. Furthermore, some children may develop conditions where they won’t be able to naturally shed one or multiple teeth, such as tooth agenesis or impacted tooth.

Although deciduous teeth will be eventually replaced, it is vital to maintain good oral health and keep them in the mouth until they are shed naturally. This will ensure permanent teeth erupt healthy and strong and keep your children’s smiles bright.


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