The human being is a diphyodont animal, like the vast majority of mammals, since we develop two complete sets of teeth throughout our life.
The first set of teeth is known as primary teeth, “baby” or deciduous teeth (from Latin deciduous, which means fall). The second dental set is the secondary or permanent dentition.
The replacement of the primary dentition by the permanent one is gradual, piece by piece, throughout childhood. Baby teeth start to fall out between 5 and 7 years of agethe first to fall out are the front incisors or teeth and the last are the molars, which fall out between 10 and 12 years old.
The eruption of the permanent teeth is prolonged until 12-13 years if the wisdom teeth are not taken into account. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually come out in adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 21, but it is very common for them to come out later or even not at all.
In what order do they fall?
The milk teeth remain anchored in their dental socket until the permanent teeth begin to grow below. As they grow, they push the milk teeth until they are expelled from the socket and fall out.
In some children it can come earlier and start falling at 4 years old, in others it can be delayed until 7 or 8 years old, but in general, the sooner they came out, the sooner they will begin to fall.
In any case, more than the age at which they fall, the order in which they fall is more important. The most common is that they fall in the order in which they come out:
- central incisorsfirst the bottom two and then the top two.
- lateral incisors
- first molars
- second molars
Oral hygiene is a very important habit throughout life, but especially once the permanent teeth begin to appear, for obvious reasons: these teeth are the last ones that will grow naturally.
For this reason, it is recommended that parents or educators reinforce daily brushing and flossing in children and monitor the consumption of highly cariogenic products, especially those with a high sugar content. From this stage, it is also advisable to visit the dentist periodically.
The loss of milk teeth and their replacement by the permanent dentition is usually a gradual process without complications or problems, but some may occur. Among the most frequent are crowded teethboth due to premature loss and late loss of milk teeth.
Baby teeth preserve space for permanent teeth until they erupt. If baby teeth fall out too soon, space can be lost and cause several permanent teeth crowd into the same tooth socket.
The premature fall is frequently due to trauma and caries. In these cases, you should consult a orthodontist to evaluate the use of orthodontics to preserve the space of the lost milk tooth and avoid the problems it can cause, especially if they are lost at 4 years of age or before.
Similarly, if the baby teeth fall out too late, it can force the permanent teeth to fall out. grow crooked and crowd. If at approximately 8 years of age no milk teeth have fallen out, a dentist should be consulted.
Many times, baby teeth do not fall out because permanent teeth are missing. In the absence of teeth that grow and push the milk tooth, it can remain for the rest of life until it is eventually lost due to other causes.