When you become a parent, you open a direct line to the tooth fairy. Children’s teeth start forming inside their mouths when they’re in the womb and start peeking through soon after they’re born. Losing teeth is going to be a regular thing at your house for the next decade or so.
Since it’s been a while since you were losing teeth, we wanted to let you know everything you need to know about it. After all, when the tooth fairy comes calling, you want to know at least as much as she does.
Get Ready for the Primaries
Before your baby starts losing teeth, he has to grow them in the first place.
While your baby’s in the womb, the makings of his teeth begin to form. They harden under the gums before they’re even born. Here are the different parts of the 20 primary teeth living under their gum’s surface:
Between 4 and 12 months of age, your baby’s first tooth emerges, and it’s usually a front one on the bottom. Understandably, when they start losing teeth, this will be the first one to go.
Until they are about two years old, the rest of their teeth will populate their gums.
It’s important to note that from the time their first tooth emerges, your child should start seeing a pediatric dentist. Even baby teeth need great care to stay healthy. Not to mention keeping their gums healthy as well, to ready their mouths for adult teeth.
Good habits start early.
At around six years old, kids start losing teeth. And that’s when the tooth fairy comes in.
Tooth Loss in Adult Teeth
While losing teeth in the primary set for children is normal and necessary, losing teeth as an adult is not. If you’re losing teeth from your permanent set, it’s likely that you either have tooth decay or gum disease.
It’s essential you work with your dentist to manage your oral health issues in order to preserve your remaining teeth. Your dentist can help you decide on what you can do to not only stop losing teeth but to replace the ones you’ve lost.
Although your original set is always best, if you’re losing teeth, your dentist may suggest dentures or implants.
Taking care of your teeth from an early age, however, gives you the best chance of keeping the ones you have.
Losing Teeth in Childhood
From the time your child turns about 6 until they’re around 12 years old, they will lose all 20 of their baby teeth. Here’s the order they usually fall out:
- Central incisors (bottom) — about six years
- Lateral incisors (bottom) and central incisors (top) — about seven years old
- Lateral incisors (top) — about eight years old
- Cuspids — about nine and a half years old
- First primary molars (top and bottom) and second primary molars (top) — about 10 to 10-1/2 years old
- Second primary molars (bottom) and cuspids (top) — about 11 to 12 years old
Before they start losing their teeth, it’s a good idea to talk to your child, so they know what to expect. You may use the tooth fairy or you may not. That part is up to you, but you should let them know that they’re going to be losing teeth and that it’s perfectly normal.
Special Care When Losing Teeth
When your child has a loose tooth, you might be tempted to pull it, but it’s best to let it fall out on its own. They gums are most likely sore already, and pulling it prematurely could cause damage to the surrounding gums. Kids can wiggle their teeth or play with them with their tongue, but resist pulling it.
Let your child know there will probably be some blood when they’re losing teeth. They can use a tissue to soak up the blood or rinse with water. And if you’re out and about when it happens, or they’re in school, make sure they bring their tooth home so you can start your tradition.
The truth is, after your child loses a tooth, no additional care is necessary — nature will take care of the rest. However, if you’re concerned about the rate at which their teeth are coming in, the angle, or any excessive redness in the area, make a dental appointment.
A Fun Tradition
Losing teeth for kids is a fun milestone, and milestones are meant for celebration! Most people call on the tooth fairy, who arrives in the dead of night to switch out your child’s baby tooth for some money or a gift.
What she does with them is still undetermined.
You could you get a special tooth pillow, write a note with them to leave under their pillow, or draw a picture. And you don’t have to leave cash at all — maybe the tooth fairy just writes back.
Whether you use the tooth fairy as your tradition or come up with something new, make it fun and playful.
Bottom Line for Baby Teeth
The thing you have to remember about baby teeth is just because they’re temporary doesn’t mean they’re not important. Take care of them the same way you would take care of your permanent teeth because ultimately, you are.
Brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis all lead to good oral health.
And that goes for everyone in your family.
Remember, your pediatric dentist is there to help you with your kid’s oral health, so give them a call if you’re unsure about anything. You can talk to one of the team members at Your Caring Dentist Group or request an appointment online.
What will be your tradition when your child starts losing teeth? Tell us all about it in the comments!