Losing Baby Teeth: What to Expect

Losing Baby Teeth: What to Expect

Team Pediatric Dentistry

It’s so exciting when your kids get their baby teeth, but you know that within just a few years, they will begin to fall out. This can be a disconcerting time for any parent, and it is often scary for the child. Just stay calm. This is all perfectly natural and will be over before you know it. Here is what to expect.

My Child Has a Loose Tooth!

Don’t worry, that just means that your kid is growing up. Those teeth are loosening to make room for the next set of teeth. Your child will play with the loose tooth with their tongue or wiggle it with their hands, as the sensation is fascinating to nearly all children. Things such as tying a string to the tooth or making the child eat an apple were once common suggestions to remove the tooth faster, but today, it is recommended that you allow it to come out organically.

Is There a Time Frame for Losing Baby Teeth?

Most children lose their first tooth between the ages of 5 and 6. The first to fall out is usually one of the central incisors, leading to those adorable gap-toothed toddler photos that parents always like to show off. By the age of about 11 or 12, most of the original set of “baby teeth” will have been lost. The final teeth to go are usually the second molars, which often take a bit longer to work their way out due to their root structure.

Is It Going to Bleed?

Most likely, yes, especially if it was forced out. But this is not always the case. Still, the mouth is known to be one of the body parts that bleeds the most when injured. Although this is a natural function, it still traumatizes the tissue in a very sensitive area. A warm salt water gargle will help close up any blood vessels that are exposed after the loss of a tooth. If that doesn’t stop the bleeding, biting down on wet gauze or a wet teabag will do the trick.

My Kid Fell and Knocked a Tooth Out

This can be terrifying, and it should be considered a dental emergency. Chances are good that a baby tooth was knocked out, the adult tooth will eventually grow to replace it, assuming the root was not damaged. However, it is impossible to know for sure without a dental exam. If the adult tooth is still a long way from being ready to emerge, it may be better to reattach the baby tooth in the meantime.

Pick up the tooth by the chewing surfaces, avoiding the root end. Rinse it gently under running water (do NOT scrub it, even if there is dirt on it)  and submerge it in a glass of milk, and take your child and the tooth straight to the dentist. Most successful reattachments occur within 30 minutes of the original injury.

Baby teeth come out to make room for adult teeth to come in. As our mouths grow and widen, we need bigger teeth to replace them. It is a natural and necessary process, but it can be frightening for both parent and child. McDonald Family Dentistry wants to help you with all of your child’s pediatric dental needs. Contact us today at 408-779-9335 to schedule your first appointment.