Losing teeth is one of those childhood rites of passage that everyone goes through. For children, a loose tooth is often met with excitement since this is a big sign that they are growing up. As a parent, you might have a few more concerns, and it is common to wonder exactly how you are supposed to handle a tooth that is ready to come out. Knowing when to worry and when to let nature take its course gives you more confidence when your kid starts wiggling a tooth.
Primary teeth tend to fall out when kids are around six years old, although some kids have loose teeth as early as when they are four. Typically, a childrens dentist will not worry about a child not losing their teeth until they are around eight years of age. At this point, they may want to check to see if there is a reason for the delay such as the permanent teeth growing in wrong.
Most children have 20 baby teeth, and these serve as placeholders for the future adult set. You can expect your child to lose all of these teeth over the next several years. Eventually, your child’s adult smile will have 32 teeth.
When a baby tooth gets loose too soon, it is usually the result of some type of injury. If your child’s tooth gets loose after they receive a blow to their face or mouth, then you’ll want to take them to an Ontario children's dentist. They can make sure that the tooth is ready to come out and take steps to protect your child’s future smile. For example, some kids need spacers to make sure that there is room for the permanent tooth to come in when its time.
Occasionally, an adult tooth will take the wrong path and appear either in front of or behind the baby tooth. If there is a loose tooth, then you can encourage your child to wiggle it. If not, then a childrens dentist might elect to do an extraction to prevent further crowding. In some cases, they may take a wait and see stance that gives the tooth a little more time to come out before they take action.
Parents are sometimes concerned to discover that their child’s adult teeth don’t look anything like their baby teeth. Permanent teeth often look huge on a child’s small face, especially the top front two teeth. Don’t worry, your child will eventually grow into their new bigger smile. Adult teeth also have more dentin, and this can cause them to look slightly more yellow. They can also have small ridges on the edges that eventually wear down.
Over the years, people have used many different techniques to get a loose tooth out. In most cases, this isn’t necessary. Just wiggling the tooth will eventually help it fall out on time. Your child can also help things along by eating healthy foods that apply slight pressure on the tooth such as apple slices. Try to resist the urge to do too much. The old tying string to the tooth and a doorknob trick is outdated and can cause an injury.
Some kids love losing their tooth at school, and most school nurses and teachers are eager to celebrate the occasion. If your child is nervous, just let them know that all they have to do is find an adult to help them out. In most cases, they’ll just need to rinse their mouth out with water and have someone help them find a safe place to store their tooth until they get home.
Baby teeth can sometimes fall out while your child is eating or even asleep. Most of the time, children notice when a tooth falls out unexpectedly. If not, then you can trust that the tooth will safely pass through their system without causing any harm.
Loosing a baby tooth is typically painless, but it can cause some gum irritation and bleeding. Older children can bite down on a piece of gauze or a clean towel to stop the bleeding. For a younger child, you might need to hold it in place. Any bleeding should only last for a few minutes. If your child has serious pain or lengthy bleeding, then an Ontario children's dentist needs to check it out.
Many parents celebrate lost teeth by planning for the Tooth Fairy to come visit. Others throw a small party or give their child a certificate. You can also turn the Tooth Fairy’s last visit into a celebration to mark the loss of your child’s final baby tooth. Every family is different, and this gives you the opportunity to create your own traditions surrounding loose teeth.
If you do opt to celebrate with a visit from the Tooth Fairy, you’ll be happy to know the answer to one of parents’ most burning questions. The Tooth Fairy’s going rate still varies from one house to another, but it is likely higher than when you were a child. Currently, it hovers just above $4, and it often depends upon the age of the child and how prepared the Tooth Fairy was for the occasion.
The appearance of your child’s first permanent teeth is a momentous occasion, but it is also a very serious one. Adult teeth don’t have a handy replacement just waiting to grow in and knock an old one out. Now that your child’s forever teeth are growing in, it is time to pay even closer attention to oral hygiene.
Keep helping your child brush and floss their teeth, and arrange for a checkup. Your child’s dentist can identify any issues with baby teeth growing in, such as crowding, and develop a plan to keep those new teeth healthy for a lifetime.
by Juli Brown