The first loose tooth often marks a major step in a young child’s life. Like many milestones, the age for the first lost tooth varies from child to child, and this is completely normal. Most kids experience their first loose tooth at age of five or six, but it can happen when they’re as young as four or as old as eight, with children whose baby teeth erupted early usually losing them before late teethers do. It generally takes a few months from the time a tooth becomes loose until it falls out, though this too can vary. Interestingly, the MayoClinic notes also that girls are more likely to lose teeth earlier than boys.
When a baby tooth falls out, the adult tooth is usually underneath the gums, waiting to erupt. In fact the larger tooth may even become visible before the baby tooth is lost. Do not be alarmed if your child’s adult teeth have ridges on the biting edges; these will wear down in time. The new, permanent teeth oftentimes are less white than the original baby teeth were — this too is normal and isn’t cause for alarm. Initially it may also appear that your child’s new teeth look a little too big for his face, but keep in mind that your child’s head will continue to grow, whereas their teeth will not. Occasionally some new teeth come in before the old ones are gone, creating two rows of what is sometimes called “shark’s teeth.” This is a temporary stage, and the new teeth will push forward on the baby teeth, usually causing them to fall out within a few weeks. Consult your burnaby dentist if the double row lasts for longer than three months, but do not be worried, it is very rare for this issue not to resolve on its own.
Losing baby teeth is seldom as painful a process as teething. If your child does experience some discomfort, redness, or swelling of the gums as their adult teeth come in, this can be easily remedied with a topical painkiller or with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It’s also unlikely that the discomfort will last very long.
It’s very important that your child continues to brush and floss regularly — something they may resist if they have a wiggly tooth or tender gums. It can be a very good idea to supervise their brushing to ensure they are taking the proper care. The time and attention that their permanent teeth receive as they are emerging can help to determine their long-term strength. Be sure to continue with regular dental visits during the time that your child is losing and growing teeth, and if anything looks or feels concerning, don’t hesitate to visit us at North Burnaby Dental Group.
Although your child may feel that it’s hard to bite or chew with loose or missing teeth, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet. If chewing is difficult things like vegetable soup, pureed fruits, and other healthy soft foods can take the place of foods that are harder to break down.
It is an exciting time when your baby starts to lose their teeth! In all likelihood the transition to adult teeth will be a seamless one, especially if proper attention to hygiene is given.
Yes, your greatest concern as a parent is likely to be how much money the Tooth Fairy should leave under the pillow!