Kids Losing Their Teeth - What Parents Need to Know
Losing teeth is often a rite of passage for children. Some families celebrate by putting the lost tooth under a pillow in hopes that the tooth fairy will trade it for cash, candy, or trinkets.
While losing teeth is a natural process that usually happens all by itself and ends up in a beautiful smile, parents often have questions. Here is what parents need to know about kids losing their teeth.
When should my child lose their teeth?
Kids lose their primary teeth between the ages of 5 and 15 years. They tend to lose their teeth in the same order in which they get them, with front teeth going first, followed by canines and then molars.
Front baby teeth begin to wiggle by the time the child is 4 years old; these teeth are usually gone by the age of 6 years. The lower front teeth, known as center incisors, usually fall out before the upper incisors Teenagers can start losing molars at the back of their mouths between the ages of 10 and 12, with permanent replacements coming in by the age of 15 years.
Losing a baby tooth early from tooth decay or from an accident could spell trouble for a child’s smile later on. An adult tooth might drift into the open space left by the missing tooth, for example, to crowd other teeth or cause crooked teeth. Parents should alert their family dentist if their child loses a tooth prematurely due to any other reason other than a permanent tooth coming in.
Interestingly, girls usually lose their teeth before boys, so parents should not be concerned if their daughters seem to lose their baby teeth at an earlier age than did their sons.
Should I pull a loose tooth?
In the old days, parents would encourage their children to pull loose teeth – some would even tie a tooth to a doorknob and slam the door to yank out a tooth. Nowadays, dentists recommend that parents and children let the teeth fall out naturally. Allowing a tooth to come out on its own is less painful, and may cause less damage than pulling it. Parents can encourage their kids to wiggle the tooth gently until it falls out.
Parents should also talk to their children about losing teeth and outline what the kids can expect when they lose teeth. Parents may want to tell kids that loose teeth are normal, for example, and that it is okay to go to the school nurse. They should also reassure their child that he or she should not worry about swallowing it, as the child would feel it. Parents should also tell their child that some bleeding is common when losing a tooth, and that they can use a tissue to blot it, if they desire. If the tooth comes out while the child is away from home, he or she can put it in a tissue or sandwich bag until they get home.
After Your Child Loses Their Teeth
From the first wiggle to the dramatic exit of a tooth, losing a tooth is a big deal. The time after your child loses a tooth is a big deal too – adult teeth can take some time to come in. Sometimes getting a new tooth is a little painful, especially when the molars come in at the back of the child’s mouth. Fortunately, it does not hurt as much as when they got their baby teeth.
When adult teeth come in, the teeth may be slightly darker, larger, and have deeper ridges than do their baby teeth. This is normal.
After your child loses their first teeth is a great time to teach them how to take care of adult teeth with proper tooth brushing, flossing, and regular appointments to the dentist. After all, adult teeth are the last set of teeth they will get.
Still have questions?
Since every child is different when it comes to losing their teeth, many parents still have questions about the transition between baby teeth and adult teeth. Fortunately, our Williams & Daily Dental team is here to help. Feel free to call us and schedule an appointment for your child.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.