There’s a shared milestone in every child’s life: losing their baby teeth. It can be an exciting moment for parents. Your kid is growing up! But it can also be worrisome for you and your child, and you may wonder what you can do to support their oral health.
Kids typically start losing their baby teeth around 6–8, but this timeframe can vary. By getting your family’s dental health checked regularly, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing a professional is at your back.
When Do Baby Teeth Start Falling Out?
As parents, you probably felt that excitement that comes when your child’s first tooth makes its grand entrance. But then comes the obvious question: when’s the grand exit?
On average, children begin losing their baby teeth (primary teeth) between the ages of 6–8. However, factors both inside and outside your control can influence this. For example, Genetics, overall health, and dental hygiene habits could all influence when teeth start falling out.
Do Teeth Fall Out in Order?
Interestingly, there is a pattern to the way primary teeth are shed. The upper and lower front teeth (incisors) are typically the first to go. This process then continues toward the back teeth, though the canines can hang on longer than expected. As a result, most children will have lost all their primary teeth by 12 years.
This order is typical, but it does have deviations and age ranges where teeth fall out. It’s usually okay if teeth come out in a bit of a different order. However, if they’re falling out in a significantly different order or if there are concerns about delayed tooth loss, you can always consult your dentist for further evaluation.
Why Do Teeth Fall Out?
Tooth loss is a natural part of your child’s dental development. The first adult teeth come in around age 6 or 7 behind the baby teeth. They don’t replace any of them.
Eventually, the permanent teeth will grow beneath the baby teeth, weakening their roots and pushing them out. Even though baby teeth are temporary, caring for them is still vital. If you don’t, it could lead to early childhood tooth decay, which could cause an infection in the gums where the permanent teeth are currently growing.
Children under 3 years should have their teeth brushed by an adult. When your kid is old enough, you should assist them in brushing their teeth twice a day using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
What Should I Do When I Notice a Loose Tooth?
A loose tooth can be confusing for a child. Talk to them about their concerns and reassure them this is a normal experience that’s usually painless. You can even talk about your time losing your teeth if you remember it.
It’s fine if a kid wants to wiggle their tooth, as it shouldn’t cause any damage and may ease the root free. But, on the other hand, don’t force the tooth out when it’s not ready to go. Even if the root is weakened, it’s still holding on, and this could hurt more than necessary.
It could take some time from when you first notice it’s loose, but when the tooth is ready, it should come out naturally with minimal bleeding. In the meantime, offer soft foods that are gentle on their tender gums and continue practicing good oral hygiene.
What to Do After a Tooth Falls Out?
Once the tooth falls out, your kid could be nervous, excited, scared, or everything at once. Congratulate your child on their moment and provide comfort if they feel anxious about the new gap in their smile. Assuring them a new tooth will grow in its place soon can help with their self-esteem.
It’s normal to notice a bit of bleeding after your kid loses a tooth. Clean the area with soft and sterile gauze, or have your kid gargle some warm saltwater to rinse out the empty socket. If you notice the pain isn’t going away or the socket is swelling, you can use a dose of children’s ibuprofen to hopefully relieve inflammation.
If the swelling persists or the bleeding returns, contact your dentist. In any case, scheduling regular check-ups can help ensure everything is progressing as expected.
Dental Care for the Whole Family in Calgary
Remember, every child is unique, and their tooth loss journey may differ slightly from the average. If this is your first kid, you may not know what to expect. Our team at West 85th Dental Care is proud to be educators, helping parents understand their children’s dental development.
If you have questions or concerns about your kid’s baby teeth, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dental team. Together, we can help your child achieve a healthy, radiant smile!