Friday, February 22, 2013

When Will My Child Lose His or Her Baby Teeth?

Just after the excitement has worn off about them all coming in, your child will begin to lose their baby teeth between the ages of 5 and 6. It’s a funny thing that the first teeth that come out are typically the ones that came in first. So, watch out for loose front teeth along the upper and lower rows. Following those first four top and bottom teeth, the ones that usually follow are the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and the second molars.

Children can also lose teeth due to injury or tooth decay. When a tooth comes out before it should, crowding can occur and could force other permanent teeth to come in crooked. This is why it is oh so important to take very good care of the baby teeth. The dental hygiene habits and overall dental health established at an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, or not! As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that:
  • Your child brushes twice each day-this activity should be supervised by you. To make it easier and more fun, consider using an hourglass egg timer, a cool toothbrush and learning a few songs or poems about brushing, like this:
    • Your teeth are important - they help you to chew,
    • They help you to smile and say, "How do you do?"
    • Be sure to take care of them morning and night
    • By brushing and flossing, you'll keep your teeth bright.
  • Make sure your child flosses each night before going to bed.
  • Limit in-between meal snacks and do not allow your child to have sugary drinks, candy, or an excessive amount of sweets and processed foods. Think of healthy fruit, vegetable and whole grain options. You will be setting them up for success if you do this simple thing!
  • Schedule regular trips to the dentist and discuss with your doctor or hygienist the choices of fluoride treatments and sealants.
When those first baby teeth become loose, they are the focus of all of your child’s attention. It can be an exciting time since this milestone usually means a visit from the “Tooth Fairy”. However, it can also cause a child anxiety as they worry about the pain they could experience when the tooth comes out. If your child begs you to help them pull a loose tooth, follow this procedure:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Have your child take a seat, and you get down to their level.
  • Hold plain tissue or gauze between your thumb and index finger so you can firmly grasp the tooth-Warn your child not to be afraid and that a little blood is no problem.
  • A quick twist should do it!
  • For teeth that are resistant, tell your child it is not time. Keep an eye on it, and schedule a visit to the dentist if it does not come out on its own.
As you wait to hear, “I’ve got a loose tooth!”, be aware that little girls usually lose their teeth before boys their age. Overall, the last baby tooth should have fallen out by the time your child is 13 years old.

For more ways to make brushing fun, check out these resources:
If you have questions about your child's baby teeth, contact Dr. Simon Melcher, visit his website or call us at 919-782-0548.

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