Just when you thought the angst of teething was over, it begins again! Normally, before your child even gets their first loose tooth, their first 2 adult teeth start moving in. These are the 6 year molars, they will grow up top, behind the baby teeth at the back of their mouth.
Some kids don’t like to think about losing their teeth. It could be because they heard it was painful, or there might be blood. Just try to reassure them that it’s normal, everyone goes through it, and it’s a part of growing up. If your child is experiencing some pain you can discuss it with your child’s doctor or dentist. Sometimes all you need is a cold compress, a talk about the tooth fairy can also be comforting.
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It is fine for them to wiggle the loose teeth, but you should never try to pull one out. When a tooth falls out on its own, there is usually very little bleeding. While the adult tooth starts to grow, the core of the milk tooth starts to disintegrate, this will continue until the tooth is ready to fall out on its own. So, it’s always best to let the tooth come out naturally, if a tooth is pulled out before its time, if the tooth is not ready, you risk breaking the root, and possibly causing an infection. If your child has a tooth that refuses to come out, it’s best to let their dentist take care of it.
Most kids lose their first tooth in Kindergarten, but it is possible not to lose any until grade 2 or 3. Some kids might not even get a loose tooth until 8 years old, but it can be a good idea to to see your dentist for x-rays to ensure there is no issues. As a general rule, if your child got their first teeth early, then they will likely lose their teeth early. If your child loses a tooth before age 4 you should consult your dentist, sometimes losing a tooth that early can be a sign that there is a problem, usually everything is fine, but it’s always best to play it safe.
It is possible that a child could lose a tooth too soon, before the adult tooth is ready, it could be because of an accident or dental disease (like my daughter). Often the dentist will put a spacer (custom fit plastic placeholder) in to prevent future spacing issues.
Age 6 – 7
Children should lose their baby teeth in about the same order that they came in. The first to go is the central incisors at the bottom of the mouth, followed by the central incisors at the top.
Your child’s eating habits can be affected by wiggly or lost front teeth. Biting into some of the harder foods can be difficult or painful, try giving them hard foods like carrots or apples cut up in bite size pieces, which can be easily handled with the teeth at the back.
Age 7 – 8
The next teeth to fall out are usually the lateral incisors, you can find these teeth in the middle of the central incisor and the cuspid.
Eating can still be difficult or painful for your child, especially corn still on the cob or ribs, just continue to cut hard food up into bite size pieces.
Age 9 – 12
Children will often get a break from losing teeth before the top and bottom primary molars start to get wiggly.
The primary molar and primary cuspid are still there, so your child could complain that food is getting stuck between their teeth, be sure to keep up a good flossing routine.
The next teeth are usually the lower cuspids
Age 10 – 12
Most children at this age have lost about 17 of their baby teeth! Now a pre-teen, they should lose the upper cuspid, and upper and lower primary molars. These are the last of their baby teeth.
By this age your child should have most of their permanent teeth, except for their wisdom teeth, which should erupt between 17 – 21, At 21, once the wisdom teeth have come out, your teenager should have all 32 of their permanent teeth.
It’s important to always practice good oral hygiene, be sure that your child brushes and flosses at least twice a day and visits the dentist every 6 months.
If you are concerned about your child’s baby teeth or the new adult teeth coming in, schedule a visit to the dentist to be sure.
Permanent teeth can often appear to be more on the yellow side then the primary teeth, this is normal, but if your are concerned please ask their dentist upon their next visit.
Everyone’s teeth are different, their shape, their size, when you get them, when you lose them, and their location in the jaws. All these differences are important, they work together to help chew, smile and speak, they give your face its form and shape, so take care of them!