When your child’s baby teeth begin to loosen, it can be an uncertain time for them. Some children hate the idea of loose baby teeth and ask their parents to pull them out, while others may be frightened of losing them. Others may be excited to anticipate a visit from the tooth fairy. So, what should you do when your child’s teeth begin to wiggle?
When Do Children Lose Their Baby Teeth?
The process of permanent teeth replacing baby teeth occurs over several years. Children begin to lose their baby teeth at about 6 years old. The first adult teeth that arrive are the molars, which erupt from the gums at the back of the mouth without replacing any baby teeth. At the same time, the roots of the baby teeth at the front of the mouth begin to weaken as the permanent teeth grow within the gum. Eventually, the tooth roots become so weak that the baby teeth fall out, leaving room for the new adult teeth to come in.
The first teeth to fall out are usually the two central bottom teeth at the front of the mouth, followed by the two central top teeth. Though most children lose their first baby teeth at age 6, some don’t begin to lose their teeth until age 7.
What to Do When Your Child Has Loose Baby Teeth
The process of losing baby teeth is completely natural, so once you notice your child’s teeth are loose and wiggly, let it happen. If the teeth are at the front of the mouth and your child is around the age of 6 or 7, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
It’s fine to let your child wiggle a loose tooth. When the tooth is ready to go, it should fall out easily and with little bleeding. If your child is desperate to lose the tooth and it just won’t come out, the American Dental Association advises parents to fold a piece of clean tissue over the tooth and gently squeeze. The tooth should pop out right away if it is ready to come out.
However, if the tooth doesn’t come out with a gentle squeeze, don’t reach for string and stay away from doorknobs. Losing a baby tooth too early can affect the position of the permanent teeth. When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a permanent tooth that’s already erupted can shift into the empty space and become crooked.
Tips on Easing Your Child’s Fears
As a parent, you may be excited that your child has arrived at the milestone of losing their first tooth, but for the child, it can sometimes be a scary experience. If your child is upset about a wiggly tooth or a gap where a tooth fell out, offer reassurance that nothing is wrong and that everyone loses their baby teeth. Remind your child that the tooth fairy loves baby teeth and gives out rewards for them. Additionally, if a tooth looks like it’s about to come out, consider giving your child a small box and a tissue or a similar “tooth kit” to take to school to avoid losing the precious item.
Losing baby teeth doesn’t have to be scary. By following these tips, you can maintain smiles all around! If you have questions or if you are looking for a Paducah area dentist, contact us at Johnson Family Dental. You can reach us by phone at (270) 554-2432 or CLICK HERE to contact us. Our family dental office is conveniently located at 2913 Lone Oak Rd, Paducah, KY.