When your child's baby teeth begin to fall out, it is exciting for them but may be worrisome for you.
What should you do to make the process easier for your child?
Anytime between ages 5 - 7 is considered normal for a child to lose their first tooth. If your child is the first or the last of their friends to lose their first tooth they may need some reassurance that losing teeth is not a race and happens when it is supposed to happen.
This chart shows the age range for each tooth.
Some kids love to wiggle their teeth lose. From the first hint of a tooth beginning to loosen, they are constantly wiggling and checking it. They can't leave it alone.
Others are completely unaware of teeth that are loose.
Some can't wait for the tooth to come out and others hate the thought of removing even the loosest tooth and leave the tooth hanging by a thread of tissue and flopping around in their mouth.
While we don't like to encourage our children to put their hands in their mouth, a little bit of tooth wiggling doesn't hurt and may even be necessary for stubborn teeth that are slow to fall out and have a permanent tooth already trying to erupt beside it.
When the time is right and the tooth is loose enough that it is bothersome to eat and can be pushed completely out of it's position, you can remove it, or encourage your child to remove it themselves.
There is more than one way to remove a loose tooth but some methods are more traumatic than others and should be avoided. Tying a string around the tooth or using plyers are two that come to mind...Don't do that:)
Use a small piece of gauze (you can use paper towel if you don't have gauze) to firmly grip the tooth, gently pull the tooth straight out in one smooth motion. If the gums bleed, fold up a second piece of gauze or paper towel and have them bite on it for a few minutes.
Eating around loose teeth and big gaps is the norm for a few years. Encourage your child to keep eating a healthy balanced diet by cutting hard to chew foods in smaller bite sized pieces.
Brushing a mouthful of teeth that are no longer lined up perfectly is also a challenge. Remind them to brush every tooth including those that are only partially erupted.