Are you wondering when your young child will start losing his or her teeth? A child’s baby teeth usually become loose as the new permanent adult teeth start to make their way down and will generally fall out on their own starting at the age of six years old. It can be an exciting yet scary time for children as they don’t know what it will feel like when the teeth fall out, which can cause them to delay having them pulled out. If your child is nervous about having his or her loose baby teeth pulled out, you can wait for them to fall out on their own but children can, at times, be gently coaxed into having their teeth pulled out if they know a treat is involved! Some children are so nervous about having their teeth pulled though, that one or two can accidentally be swallowed as they pop out! Don’t be concerned if this happens – it should pass without a problem but you can always contact your child physician if this occurs with your child.
To pull your child’s loose baby teeth, wait until they are loose enough that you can truly guarantee your child that will not hurt (when the teeth are looser, they don’t really hurt to pull). Use a Kleenex or gauze to wrap around your child’s tooth then twist and pull the tooth out of the gum line. Remember though, if the tooth is not loose enough, let it be until it is easy to pull out. If your child has a loose tooth that doesn’t become loose enough to pull over a certain period of time, you may want to contact your dentist to see if they recommend extracting the tooth at the dental office or checking to make sure all is okay within the mouth.
Typically, your child’s lower central incisors (the two bottom front teeth) will fall out first, then the upper central incisors (the two top front teeth), then the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars. As your child loses more and more of his or her baby teeth, the process of pulling them out will not be as difficult. Your child will become more confident with experience!
We also encourage a reward either from the “tooth fairy” or from the family every time a child loses another tooth. Losing a tooth is like a milestone each time! You can reward with a small monetary gift, tiny trinket or toy, or books, just to name a few examples.
It is important that your child brushes at least twice daily, flosses after every meal, limits sugary food or liquids in the evening (and really all the time) to avoid cavities, and to have regular scheduled visits with his or her dentist to make sure the whole mouth is healthy and to make sure no cavities or tooth decay are forming.
A happy mouth aids in good health for the entire body…so start your child young!