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baby milk teeth

8 year old not losing her milk teeth. Is it normal?

Is your almost 8-year-old daughter clinging to her baby milk teeth like a security blanket? While the sight of those familiar pearly whites might bring back memories of your own childhood, it can also raise concerns about  whether her development is on track.

As a pediatric dentist, I can assure you that a little delay in losing baby milk teeth is often normal. Here’s what you need to know to separate healthy development from a potential issue:

The Tooth Timeline: A Range, Not a Race

Children lose their baby milk teeth at varying ages. The  average range for losing the front lower incisors (the bottom two front teeth) is between  6 and 7 years old. However, it’s not uncommon for some children to wait until  8 years old or even a bit later before their first tooth wiggles loose.

Why the Delay?

Several factors can influence the timing of baby milk teeth loss:

  • Genetics: Just like eye color or hair texture, the rate of tooth development can be inherited. If you or your partner were late bloomers when it came to losing baby milk teeth, your daughter might follow suit.
  • Overall Growth Rate: Some children simply develop at a slower pace than others. This can affect the timing of tooth eruption and replacement as well.
  • Underlying Health Conditions: In rare cases, certain medical conditions can delay tooth development. However, this is usually accompanied by other symptoms.

Signs It Might Be Time for a Check-Up

While some delay is normal, here are some red flags that might warrant a visit to your pediatric dentist:

  • No signs of loosening by age 8: If none of your daughter’s baby milk teeth show any signs of wiggling or becoming loose by the time she turns 8, it’s best to get a professional opinion.
  • Crowding or misalignment: If your daughter’s adult teeth seem to be erupting behind the baby teeth, causing crowding or misalignment, early intervention by a dentist might be necessary.
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking: If the retained baby teeth are causing problems with chewing or speech development, a dentist can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.

What to Do

If you’re concerned about your daughter’s late blooming baby milk teeth, here’s what to do:

  • Schedule a dental visit: A checkup with your pediatric dentist can provide reassurance or identify any underlying issues.
  • X-rays (optional): Depending on the dentist’s assessment, x-rays might be recommended to get a clearer picture of the development of the adult teeth beneath the surface.
  • Monitoring: If everything appears normal, the dentist might recommend monitoring the situation and scheduling appointments to track progress.

Early and regular dental visits are essential for your child’s oral health. By monitoring your daughter’s development and consulting with your pediatric dentist, you can ensure a smooth transition to a healthy and beautiful smile.