One of the biggest milestones in a child’s life is to lose teeth, which can happen around five to six years of age; sometimes as old as seven or eight.
One of the biggest milestones your baby will face is losing their baby teeth. And, the reason they lose teeth is that they make room for the permanent teeth to come in. This process that can last at least six years…sometimes more!
The majority of children get excited about wiggly teeth and even the visit they get from the tooth fairy. However, some children fear the prospect of losing teeth. They fear that when they lose teeth, they’ll be in pain. If your child is worrying about losing teeth, there are some things you can do to reassure him that he won’t feel a thing.
1 – First Tooth In, First Tooth Out
By age 3, a child’s 20 baby teeth will come in, which means the bottom center teeth are typically the first to go…somewhere between ages five and six. The upper center teeth are the ones that come in next; they’re generally the next pair to fall out. A baby tooth won’t become loose until its permanent tooth begins to push up. It’s not uncommon for kids as young as four to lose teeth. Some kids won’t begin losing their teeth until they reach seven years old. The younger the kid was when his/her teeth initially came in, the earlier for his/her teeth to come lose and fall out.
This does not mean, however, that they’re teeth cannot be lost before it’s ready to come out and the permanent tooth is available. A child may lose teeth due to an accident or because he/she has a dental disease.
From time to time, a pediatric dentist will place a custom-fit spacer in the area the baby teeth fall from until the adult permanent tooth is ready to come in. This keeps future spacing problems from occurring. If you notice your child is beginning to lose teeth before the age of four, you should talk with your child’s dentist to ensure that the cause isn’t some underlying disease.
Again, some children may not lose teeth until they reach seven or eight years of age. While this isn’t much to be concerned about, you should speak with the dentist to get x-rays to determine the situation.
2 – Pulling Loose Teeth
If your child’s got loose teeth, encourage them to wiggle it. Bear in mind that some of the loose teeth can be rotated. Why? The root holding them in place is practically gone. However, you need to let your child know that he/she should not pull on it before it comes out on its own. The reason is that the broken root will become more susceptible to infection. Any loose tooth that’s stubborn and won’t come out by itself will need to be pulled by the dentist. This is extremely rare!
Teething is certainly far more painful than losing baby teeth. However, if your wee one is complaining about pain the back of his/her mouth, it could be a sign that that the six-year molars are emerging. It’s best to give your child Tylenol or ibuprofen to take care of the ache… for a short while!
3 – The New Teeth
The permanent teeth your child gets are going to look bigger…especially when they get the first couple of them. The reason they look bigger is because that’s their adult teeth. Also, baby teeth look whiter than adult teeth, which have very pronounced ridges. The ridges will go away as the teeth are used.
It’s not uncommon to have several new teeth in before the old ones are actually gone. When this happens, it produces two rows of whites, known as shark’s teeth.
It’s very important that your child start brushing his/her teeth on a regular basis from this point on. It’s likely you’ll need to supervise him/her until they reach eight years of age. And, don’t let them use anything bigger than a pencil eraser of toothpaste. Some dentists suggest not using fluoride until your child can spit, as tap water tends to have more than enough fluoride.
Be sure you replace the toothbrush every two to three months to eliminate the harmful bacteria and so they work their best. Your child should see his/her dentist two times a year.
The majority of kids will lose the last of their baby teeth around 13, just about the time the 12-year old molars emerge.
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