The first baby tooth to fall out is a milestone that's just as important as the first tooth to come in. Knowing which baby teeth fall out first can help you and your child prepare for this memorable event.
Order of Tooth Loss
According to BabyCenter, a baby's teeth will typically fall out in the same order they arrived. That means the front teeth will probably be the first to go, typically followed by the next two either side, and so on. These baby teeth will fall out between the ages of six and twelve years. The pattern can be more easily seen in an eruption chart, such as this one from the American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy site.
That adorable baby smile, with two white nubs poking out of the top gum, will soon be replaced with a gap-toothed grin, clearing the way for the eventual arrival of adult teeth. Up until the age of 12 or 13, your child will have both permanent and baby teeth, leading to the typical mismatched smile of this age.
Helping Your Child Cope With Tooth Loss
Losing a tooth can be both exciting and scary for your child. However he feels, be sure to answer any questions he has, and follow his lead on how big a deal to make about it. Some kids prefer not to make a fuss about that first loose tooth. Others might like to celebrate the impending event and look forward to a visit from the tooth fairy. Still others may need some reassurance.
Whatever approach you take to your child's first tooth loss, don't ever interfere with its progress. According to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, you shouldn't force a tooth out. They will fall out when they are ready too. However, if your child is experiencing extreme discomfort, bleeding or premature breakage, see your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy
Losing baby teeth from decay or damage might not seem like a big deal, but premature tooth loss can have serious side effects in the long term. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay in babies can lead to infections in the sinuses, the ears or even the brain. Other examples of problems include the following:
- Damage to permanent teeth
- Difficulty eating
- Difficulty learning to talk
Regular oral hygiene is just as important for your child as it is for you. Developing good habits early will make it more likely that your kids are able to take care of their permanent teeth when they get older. My First Colgate™ products are specially formulated for their needs and will help them take on responsibility for their own oral hygiene.
Losing a first tooth is a big deal for your child. No matter which baby teeth fall out first, make the process fun and easy, and keep those teeth healthy by establishing good hygiene habits early.