How do permanent teeth replace baby teeth?

The transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth usually begins when the child is around 6 years old. The baby tooth will gradually loosen as its roots dissolve and resorb into the child’s mouth. It could take just a few days to fall out, or it could remain stubbornly attached by a root or two for several weeks.

The new permanent tooth will come in according to its own schedule, which could be a week after the baby tooth is lost or even six months later. Sometimes a permanent tooth will even begin to come in before the baby tooth is lost. This is not normally a problem, as long as the baby tooth is loose and getting ready to fall out. However, baby teeth occasionally need to be pulled if they do not come out on their own.

Baby teeth provide proper spacing and guidance for permanent teeth, so it is important to take care of them. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely due to injury or decay, a space maintainer can help to ensure that there is room for the permanent tooth that will replace it.

Children generally have all of their permanent teeth (except the wisdom teeth) by 12 or 13 years old. The transitional years can seem strange, especially if your child has a combination of baby teeth, permanent teeth, and empty gaps in his or her mouth. However, in most cases, nature takes care of itself. Bring your child in for regular checkups, and try not to worry. Once the permanent teeth are fully in place, we can assess whether your child needs any corrective work.

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.