Mixed Dentition

Author: Dr. Alison Vitelli, DMD

What are the different stages of dentition? When is my child going to loose her teeth? These are some common questions we are often asked when we take care of our pediatric patients at Spring Lake Dental Group.

Every single one of us is unique and our growth patterns are too. Our little ones are the same as well. When we explain the growth and development of the mouth and teeth, we base our information on average times for the majority of the pediatric population. This means that some of the ages I will be mentioning here are the most common for most children, but do understand that every child grows at their own pace, and the fact that some may be either ahead of the average or behind it, doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem.

Primary dentition starts around 6 months of age and ends around 2.5 years old. During this period, all of the baby teeth are going to be coming in, starting with the lower central incisors (6 months) and finishing with the second baby molars (2.5 years). By this age your child should have a total of 20 primary (baby) teeth. No more teeth will be erupting until 6 years old. Around 6 years old, we start to have “wiggly” teeth and your child will experience losing teeth very close to the same order they came in. This stage of having baby teeth and permanent teeth is called mixed dentition. This stage can be divided into early, mid, and late depending on how many primary vs. permanent teeth are present. Most patients have mixed dentition from 6 to 11/12 years old, going through a slight pause of loosing teeth approximately around age 9-10. Most of our 11-12 year olds will have complete permanent dentition. Again, always remember, these are average ages where the most of the pediatric population fall into, but every patient is different and each one of them take their own time in development. Every time we perform an exam, we evaluate for appropriate eruption pattern and see if there are any issues of concern.