Mixed dentition

The appearance of adult teeth

Your child will soon be four years old and for some time now, he or she has been offering his or her best smile with all his or her first teeth (or primary teeth) in his or her mouth. They will be in place for a few years, but the formation of adult teeth (permanent teeth) has already begun, deep under the gum.

Gradually, the roots of each of the primary teeth will gradually disappear (this is the reason why the falling baby teeth do not have a root).  The adult teeth will then eventually grow and push the primary teeth to make their way to the gums. Like primary dentition, the growth of permanent dentition varies from tooth to tooth and from individual to individual.

The transition

We know the importance and role of primary dentition, which motivates us to take good care of it.

For the next few years, from the age of 6 to around 11, your child’s mouth will be in transition and will have both types of teeth (primary and permanent): this is what we call mixed dentition.

The timing of primary tooth loss

  • Loss of central incisors: between 6 and 8 years of age.
  • Loss of lateral incisors: between 7 and 8 years old.
  • Loss of canines: between 9 and 12 years old.
  • Loss of the first molars: between 9 and 11 years of age.
  • Loss of the 2nd molars: between 10 and 12 years old.

The change in colouring

It should also be noted that the colouring of new teeth will probably be different from that of primary teeth. Indeed, the amount of dentin (more yellowish than enamel) will be more imposing under the thin layer of enamel that covers it and which will calcify more over the years due to contact with saliva, which contains calcium and minerals.

Monitor the transition from primary to permanent teeth

The child will have both primary and adult teeth in the mouth. Thus, around the age of 9, twelve primary and twelve permanent teeth will be in contact with each other. Since their sizes will be different, brushing may require your assistance and the introduction of dental floss into oral hygiene habits is recommended. Particular attention is also required for the first permanent molars, considering their position.

Loss of primary teeth

The loss of primary teeth is an important step in your child’s life. It can create a variety of emotions.

Since the first teeth to fall are the incisors, the event is difficult to miss. But it is not uncommon to forget that at 10 or 11 years of age, sudden discomfort or pressure pain can be caused by the loss of the posterior teeth.

Although they are ready to give way to new permanent teeth, sometimes the primary teeth do not want to leave your child’s mouth. Encourage them to play with their moving teeth, move them and eat hard foods such as carrots or apples. This will stimulate the tissues of the mouth and gradually detach the skin and ligaments that often hold the teeth in place.

The assistance of a dentist may be necessary

When the tooth shows no sign of mobility despite the emergence of the adult tooth, or if your child refuses to touch the moving teeth to try to prevent them from falling, the assistance of a dentist may be necessary. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact your dental health professional. Thanks to X-rays, among other things, the dentist will be able to reassure you or intervene depending on the situation.