Watching your child get their baby teeth is a momentous moment in their lives. This is the moment they change from being a baby to becoming an independent little eater. However, the next thing you know, six short years have passed, and the next momentous occasion in their dental development involves the loss of the baby teeth one-by-one as they are replaced with their permanent teeth. Caring for your child's mouth during this transition is important, as the gum area around the lost baby tooth is sensitive to damage at this time. Use these tips to make sure that the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth is as seamless as possible.
Timeline for loss of baby teeth
The loss of your child's baby teeth stretches over approximately six years. Children start to lose their baby teeth from the age of six, and this process will continue until they are 11 or 12 years old. The bottom two teeth are the first teeth to go, and the second molar is normally the last one which completes the tooth transition cycle.
Once the tooth shows signs of being loose, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for it to completely dislodge itself naturally. Encourage your child to keep their fingers away from the loose tooth as its roots naturally dissolve so it can break free. Little fingers carry lots of germs which you don't want near the open wound which results when a tooth falls out. Too many germs in the mouth lead to oral infections.
There is no reason why your child can't wiggle the tooth with their tongue as this will speed up the process of the tooth fairy coming to visit, but keep fingers away.
Caring for the gum after the tooth falls out
The period between the tooth falling out and the new tooth growing in is a time when the gum is most vulnerable. There is nothing in the gap to protect the tooth from damage or decay, so it is up to your child to make sure they keep decay away from this area. Your child must still brush their teeth twice a day. However, care should be taken with the amount of brushing pressure exerted in the area where the baby tooth once was. A light brushing motion is much less irritating to the gum and reduces the chance of the gum being scratched and damaged.
Once your child's baby teeth start to fall out, talk to their dentist if you suspect gum damage or if you are concerned about the length of time a new tooth eruption is taking. They can check your child's dental development to ensure it is where it should be.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.