Each child is unique in regards to losing their baby teeth. On average, most kids lose their first baby tooth at about age 6, but it can happen before or after that time. When your child gets close to that first important baby tooth loss, you can help them prepare in a few specific ways. Here are some smart tips to follow when you’re helping your child get ready for tooth fairy time.
Talk about Losing Baby Teeth
Well ahead of time, as soon as your child is old enough to fully understand what you’re saying, it’s important to start talking about losing their baby teeth. Explain to your child that they’ll lose their teeth soon because they’re growing up. Make sure that your child understands that losing their baby teeth is a completely normal and healthy part of being a “big kid.” Tell them that they’ll notice their teeth start to wiggle and then grow looser and looser. Usually, the bottom teeth are the first ones that your child will lose, so make sure that they know to expect wiggling when they bite down or move their tongue.
When your child’s tooth becomes loose, encourage them to wiggle it! This will make sure it doesn’t get stuck. Kids love wiggling their loose teeth and if it can prevent over-retention, all the better!
When the Tooth Comes Out
Explain that when a tooth gets extra wiggly, it may be ready to come out. Tell your child to keep calm and stay as patient as possible, because the tooth will let them know when it’s ready to come out. If your child can move the tongue easily with their tongue, it might be ready to come out — but that usually means pulling it. The first time, your child will likely need you to help them with pulling the tooth. Wrap your fingers in clean gauze, grasp the tooth gently but firmly, and tug to remove it. Tell your child that it’s going to be a quick pinch and will be over in a second.
After Pulling the Tooth
It’s best to prep your child for the feeling of a missing tooth even before they lose their first tooth. Explain that they’ll have a hole in their mouth that might feel kind of funny at first, but that it will quickly start to feel completely normal. Tell your child that having a gap in their smile doesn’t hurt, but that they might feel a little bit of discomfort immediately after losing the tooth. Tell them that you can give them a children’s pain reliever if they’re uncomfortable for a little while after they lose their tooth. Prepare your child for the blood by telling them that some bleeding is normal, but that it will stop quickly when they put clean gauze around the tooth socket.
Future Tooth Loss
Once your child has lost their first tooth, they’ll feel much more confident and secure about future tooth loss. They’re an old pro after the first couple of teeth. Tell them that they’re experienced with the process now, and that you’re proud of how grown-up they’re becoming. Of course, it’s best to be there to help your child through at least the first few tooth pulls. Even once your child starts pulling their own loose baby teeth, remind them that those teeth shouldn’t ever be pulled when they’re still tightly rooted in their mouth. The tooth should be loose enough that it’s feeling as if it might just come out on its own at any time. The more ready a tooth is to come out, the less discomfort and blood that your child has to face.
When it’s time to face tooth loss, Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is here to offer the best in dental and orthodontic care to children in the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida area. Your child’s oral health care team will work together with you to help you raise your kids with a healthy and happy smile from the time of their first dental exam to the time that they’re headed off to college. For full service dental and orthodontic care for your child, book an appointment at Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today.