Tooth loss is a natural part of childhood.
Every child goes through the experience of losing their baby teeth. The process can be different for individual children, and it’s important that they have an understanding of what’s happening and how it relates to oral health. Here are a few things that both you and your child should know.
1. Lost baby teeth are an opportunity to teach your children.
Sometimes, children can become deeply nervous about losing their baby teeth. When you really stop to think about it, it is an odd thing to go through. However, that’s simply how oral development happens and you should let your child know that it’s perfectly natural.
Help reduce any confusion by explaining that baby teeth are lost to make room for larger adult teeth as your child grows. Also educate them on the difference between losing baby teeth naturally and losing teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues.
Many families choose to make the process of losing baby teeth fun by allowing visits from the tooth fairy. This is a simple and effective way to put your child at ease about losing their baby teeth. You can even change things up with unique tooth fairy reward ideas.
2. Understand your child’s tooth timeframe.
Both you and your child should have an understanding of the healthy timeline for baby tooth loss. Physical accidents and tooth decay could cause your child to lose teeth early. If your child loses a particular tooth before the expected time frame, you should visit your dentist to prevent any future issues.
To teach your child about their teeth, you should first answer this question: “How many teeth do humans have?” Explain that children have 20 baby teeth that eventually fall out to make room for 32 adult teeth. That number includes the four wisdom teeth that emerge later on–though some people don’t actually have all four!
If you’re wondering, “At what ages do kids lose teeth?” you can always consult a baby teeth chart. In general, children lose their baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. They typically start with the front teeth, then lose the molars between ages 9 and 12. By following your child’s progress with a baby teeth chart, you can make sure they aren’t losing teeth prematurely.
3. When is the right time to pull a loose tooth?
As teeth loosen, they can reach a point where they can be safely pulled out. However, you don’t want to jump the gun and pull a tooth prematurely. You should consult your dentist to verify whether your child is at an appropriate age for you to pull out a loose tooth.
Pulling a tooth early can result in pain and bleeding for your child. In general, if your child can comfortably rotate a tooth 90 degrees, then it is loose enough that giving it a gentle yank would be appropriate. This will prevent the tooth from falling out on its own at a less opportune time.
4. Watch out for signs of tooth decay.
Even though baby teeth aren’t permanent, you still need to watch for signs of tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious issue that is often overlooked. Children can develop issues with their teeth at younger ages than most people expect, and this is often caused by sugary drinks.
Using a bottle as a pacifier can also contribute to baby bottle tooth decay. Watch your child for signs of pain or discomfort in the mouth, and make sure to implement a good brushing routine as soon as teeth emerge. This can reduce the chance that tooth decay will cause issues with the teeth.
5. Learn about the consequences of early tooth loss.
When your child loses a baby tooth early, it can allow other teeth to shift before the adult tooth emerges. This can cause misalignments and crowding that could require braces down the line.
Whether your child has lost a tooth early due to tooth decay or has had a tooth physically knocked loose, check with your child’s dentist for spacers or other treatment options.
Visit your children’s dentist in Waldorf, Maryland.
Have you noticed issues such as premature baby tooth loss, tooth decay, or physical damage to your child’s teeth? If so, it’s best to have a dentist check the issue out early to provide the most effective treatment options and reduce the potential for further damage.
We Make Kids Smile can provide for all of your child’s dental needs, including special needs. Feel free to contact our office today to book your appointment or book a Happy Visit to meet the team first!