Ahh, baby teeth. As a parent, the beginning of teething is not only a milestone in your little one’s life, but also a period of time that keeps you on your toes! From the first days of excessive drool to the finale of four teeth on top and four on the bottom, it’s quite an extravaganza that moms and dads and babies go through, too. Once the fussiness fades and toothy grins appear, finally – relief!
But that relief sticks around for about five or six years until – gulp – now they’re supposed to lose them?! You surely wonder: When are they supposed to start losing them? What do I do if it hurts them? Should we help pull that wiggly bothersome tooth? Well we’re here to give you some details about what to expect, when to expect it and, of course, how to deal.
Most kids begin losing their baby teeth at five or six years, but it’s possible to begin as young as four or as old as eight. There is no strict timeline to follow when it comes to ‘out with the old, in with the new’. Although you may find that the earlier baby teeth arrived, the earlier they’ll lose them.
By the time they’re at even the earliest possible age of four, you’ll have already seen the dentist. If by chance it seems to be getting late and no teeth are loosening, feel free to inquire with Dr. Kellerman for some x-rays to check their jaw for what to come. More often than not, the teeth are simply not ready, and on the upside, the longer they’re in, the stronger and more cavity-resistant they are. (Bonus!)
Although when the time does come, that little tooth starts to wiggle around when your kid is eating, brushing their teeth, chewing gum – you name it. And while loosing baby teeth is generally painless, you remember, it is annoying! It’s an awfully unsettling feeling to have an unstable tooth, so is it ok to help that tooth along a bit? Yes! While most of the time, the teeth will loosen and fall out on their own if they get stuck in food or swallowed (which is nothing to worry about!), sometimes they just hang by a thread for weeks! You should never force a loose tooth, but wiggling it a bit is safe. Remember, no yanking, just wiggling and rotating!
Loosing a tooth is a monumental step in your kid’s life, so make it fun! While we can’t say we’re sure what the going rate is for the Tooth Fairy, we’re strong advocates of rewarding with ‘Big Kid Dental Baskets’. Maybe a new toothbrush, awesomely flavored toothpaste, pink or blue mouthwash (with fluoride!), and sure, maybe a couple dollars. Remember that excitement of reaching under your pillow?
Once the new tooth starts to grow in, don’t be too alarmed when the baby teeth still intact seem much whiter, it’s completely normal and will become much less noticeable once more permanent teeth come in. And what if those new teeth look so big? No real worries there either! Your child’s head will continue to grow and all will become proportionate. While you can though, be sure to take tons of the funny photos.
Still looking for a bit more information in all things related to early dental care? Check out our page specifically dedicated to the various stages. You’ll even find an interactive tool that takes you through the process of your baby’s first teeth to their final set of permanent teeth!
Do you have a funny story about your kids losing a tooth? Tell us about it!