As parents, we’ve either experienced it or have yet to experience it. Your six-year-old runs into the room and excitedly announces that their first tooth is loose. Many children are thrilled about this new rite of passage, especially if they have older siblings, and know that a visit from the Tooth Fairy is in their very near future. For other children, especially those who tend to worry, have anxiety or special needs, it may seem a bit more traumatic. Some common fears are that it will hurt or that they will not be able to eat.
For all parents, it is wise to have a complete understanding about the process of loosing the baby or primary teeth, and have answers on hand for your child. There are also many wonderful children’s books available on the market that deal with loosing baby teeth in a fun, positive way.
A few favorites are:
My Loose Tooth – Stephen Krensky
I Lost My Tooth! – Hans Wilhelm
Loose Tooth – Lola M. Schaefer
Park View’s Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to always make oral health education a priority for both our young patients and their parents. We want every phase or oral development to be positive and stress-free. We have put together some of the most commonly asked questions about loosing baby teeth, so that both you and your child can sail through this natural growth process.
My child is a bit nervous and wants me to explain why his tooth is loose. What is my best response?
The best response is one that always reinforces this very positive growth milestone as a natural part of getting older. Telling your child that their adult, permanent teeth are coming through and that the baby teeth are going to fall out to make room, is the best, most honest response.
What is the common age to loose the first baby tooth?
The first baby teeth usually fall out at about age six, but can be as early as four and as late as age seven. If your child was early getting their baby teeth, chances are they will begin to loose them earlier. They also tend to fall out in the order that they came in, starting with the lower center teeth (lower center incisors) and then the top center pair.
Should I be concerned if my child is age seven and has not lost a baby tooth?
Though it is common for some children to start to loose baby teeth on the later side, it is always wise to express any concerns with your pediatric dentist, who can do x-rays to determine is there are any unique circumstances under the gums.
Should I be concerned if my child is wiggling a loose baby tooth?
Gentle wiggling to encourage a loose tooth is fine, however a baby tooth should never be yanked out before its time. A broken root of the tooth can be prone to infection. If the baby tooth seems like it has been loose for an unusually long period and is not coming out, your pediatric dentist can help take it out, but this is not a likely occurrence.
Should I expect a lot of bleeding when the baby tooth comes out?
Bleeding should be minimal if the tooth comes out naturally and rinsing out the mouth with water should be adequate treatment. The child may also bite down on some gauze for about twenty to thirty minutes.
My child lost her top front baby tooth at age three, due to a fall, should I be concerned?
Occasionally kids lose a baby tooth too early, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. This is mostly due to an accident or dental disease. If this occurs, often a pediatric dentist will put a spacer (a custom-fit plastic placeholder) in the place where a baby tooth prematurely fell out, preventing future spacing problems until the adult tooth is ready to come in. If your child begins to lose teeth before age four on their own, it is wise to consult your pediatric dentist to make sure there’s no underlying disease.