What Parents and Children Need to Know About Losing Baby Teeth
Losing baby teeth is a major rite of passage! However, it is also unfamiliar territory for new parents and their little ones. From that first wiggly tooth at around six-years-old, to the removal of wisdom teeth in their late-teens, here’s everything parents and kids need to know along the way when it comes to losing baby teeth.
What Happens When You Lose a Baby Tooth?
At approximately six years of age, a permanent tooth is typically ready to make its appearance. As it gets ready to erupt, the root of the baby tooth begins to dissolve, loosening the tooth. With the permanent tooth pushing on it and only gum tissue holding it in place, the baby tooth gradually falls out and the tooth fairy is finally ready to make an appearance!
When Do Kids Lose All their Baby Teeth?
Each smile has its own unique timeline. While baby teeth start loosening at around six or seven years old, parents shouldn’t panic if children don’t start losing baby teeth until slightly later. In fact, baby teeth usually fall out in the order that they erupt. Rest assured that between 6-12 years of age, most children will lose all 20 of their baby teeth, beginning with the central incisors and concluding with their canines and secondary molars.
Should I Try to Pull Out My Child’s Loose Tooth?
While kids often can’t wait for a visit from the tooth fairy, parents should encourage patience. Pulling the loose tooth out too prematurely can damage some of the sensitive surrounding tooth tissue and lead to excessive bleeding or infection. Instead, dentists advise parents to let things happen more naturally. Rather than forcing the tooth out, encourage your child to gently wiggle the loose tooth with their fingers or tongue until it’s ready to come out on its own. Forcing the issue (and the tooth!) can cause unnecessary pain and possibly make children fearful of losing baby teeth in the future.
What Should I Do After My Child Loses a Tooth?
Hooray – that stubborn baby tooth has finally fallen out! We know you will be sure to keep it safe until the tooth fairy arrives. But what else can you do to help your child when they lose a tooth? Have your child rinse with water or even a mild saltwater solution to cleanse the gumline. If there is any bleeding, apply some gauze to protect the socket area. In addition, once any bleeding has stopped, apply a cool, moist washcloth to the tooth socket area to ease any pain or discomfort. Finally, set a reminder on your phone to ensure all nightly tooth fairy “duties” are fulfilled. ; )
Do Baby Teeth Ever Get Pulled by the Dentist?
There are some special circumstances that require baby teeth to get pulled by the dentists. While it is typically a last resort, dentists will sometimes extract a baby tooth before the permanent tooth erupts if there is significant tooth decay that can’t be remedied with a filling, if there is overcrowding in the child’s mouth, or if the child sustains a serious tooth injury or trauma. In these cases, a pediatric dentist will perform the extractions taking measures to ensure that your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
Losing baby teeth isn’t something parents have to lose sleep over (isn’t that the tooth fairy’s job?!) Instead, embrace this major milestone in your child’s development and continue to visit the Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team to help ensure that your child’s transition from baby to adult teeth is smooth, sparkling and positive!
Contact the Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team to schedule your child’s next dental consult! 480-494-2435