If your child has started losing teeth all at once, this might feel like a cause for concern, both for you and your little one. But in fact, it’s a cause for celebration! Losing baby teeth is totally normal and is a major milestone for all kids. Find out when you can expect your child to shed their teeth and what to do after a tooth falls out.
What You Should Know about Your Child Losing Baby Teeth
Your child’s baby or primary teeth usually start loosening around the age of six. This process continues for some years until age 10-12, until all baby teeth have shed. The first baby teeth to fall out are typically the two bottom and two top front teeth. They are followed by the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars (in that order).
That said, sometimes this process can be delayed by as long as a year. So, if it’s been a few months since your child’s sixth birthday and they still haven’t shed their first teeth, there is usually no reason to worry. Of course, your pediatric dentist can help answer any questions or concerns you might have.
Is it possible for your child to lose teeth too quickly? Yes, it can be. Baby teeth usually stay in place until a permanent tooth pushes them out as part of a resorption process. Sometimes, however, your child might lose a tooth too early because of tooth decay or an accident, or even because of wiggling a slightly loose tooth. If a tooth falls out too soon, a permanent tooth might drift into this new space. This can cause other permanent teeth to come in crooked and result in crowding.
While it’s natural for your child to want to wiggle a loose tooth, it’s never advisable to pull the tooth out using a string or floss. That said, a very loose tooth might make eating or brushing difficult. In those cases, if your child feels comfortable with it, the American Dental Association recommends that you can take a tissue and place it over the loose tooth in your child’s mouth and gently squeeze it. If the tooth is ready to come out, it will fall away without any trouble.
Now that your child has started losing baby teeth, it’s time to reinforce the importance of good oral care:
- Encourage and even remind your child to brush their teeth twice a day.
- Show your child how to clean between their teeth with floss or another kid-friendly interdental cleaning device.
- Limit sugary or other unhealthy snacks.
- Schedule regular visits to the pediatric dentist’s office.
This is also the time to celebrate! Don’t forget to take pictures of your little one’s new smile. You can even make a scrapbook to commemorate the changes in your child’s smile over the years.
Losing baby teeth is an entirely natural process. Now that you know a little more about it, we hope you’re ready to celebrate it as an exciting sign of your child growing up. And remember, as you help your child prepare for permanent teeth to come in, you’re setting your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and a bright smile.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.