Children’s teeth usually start getting loose because the adult (or permanent) teeth are ready to come in. Kids tend to lose teeth in the same order they got them, most commonly the front teeth, followed by the canines and molars. Your child’s baby teeth (also called deciduous teeth or primary teeth) may begin to wiggle as early as age 4. Most kids will lose their teeth between the ages of 5-15, with girls many times losing them before boys.
Unfortunately, baby teeth can also be lost due to injuries or dental issues such as gum disease or cavities. In a “premature loss”, it is critical to see a dentist to prevent more significant issues in the future. If your child hasn’t lost any teeth by age 8, or if their permanent teeth erupt before the baby teeth have fallen out, make sure to give us a call so we can sit down and see if there are any problems.
Should I “pull” a loose tooth?
It is best to let baby teeth fall out naturally. Your child will likely play with the tooth, wiggling it with their tongue or fingers. This is natural and encouraged. Make sure you talk to your child about what will happen when they lose a tooth. Here are some ideas:
Loose teeth are normal and when it starts to wiggle it will eventually fall out.
Don’t worry about swallowing it, because you will feel it when it falls out.
There will be a little blood so you can use a tissue to blot it if you want.
There are also a lot of fun books to read to your child or check out the ADA’s “Ask The Tooth Fairy” for some help guiding this conversation.
The Fun Stuff
Many parents want to help celebrate this milestone using the tooth fairy tradition. There are many cute things you can do like notes to the tooth fairy, special pillows or boxes, cute picture ideas and more. In fact, we’ve outlined how to prepare for the tooth fairy in another blog post of ours! Don’t forget the financial reward for your child. While this amount varies widely by family, the going rate is about $2 per tooth in the United States.
Have more questions about kids losing their baby teeth? Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is here to help answer those questions and keep your children’s teeth healthy!