Losing Baby Teeth: What to Expect

Most kids eagerly anticipate the day when they start to shed their tiny baby teeth. They wait up late at night, hoping for the tooth fairy to grace them with a few silver coins or crisp dollar bills beneath their pillow. It signals a certain rite of passage among younger kids, the first real sign that they are well on their way to growing up. Parents often look upon the loss of these baby teeth with a little more sentimentality and practicality. What can they really expect when these baby teeth start to go?

Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of your child losing their baby teeth. Keep in mind some of these basics to help you handle the whole process with ease.

When do baby teeth fall out?

Baby teeth usually fall out between the ages of four and eight, starting with the front teeth on the top and bottom. Children who started developing their teeth early will often be earlier to lose their teeth. The process typically begins around the ages of five and six, though some children may start earlier or later.

Dentists typically agree that the first teeth that your child grew are likely to be the first teeth they will lose. This should give parents a pretty good idea of which teeth are going to start wiggling first. The roots of these first teeth slowly dissolve until they can be released to make room for the adult teeth that are soon to come.

When the roots are no longer as secure, this is when baby teeth start to rock back and forth. The permanent tooth is usually somewhere just beneath the surface, pushing the baby tooth out of the way in order to make its own appearance.

Do permanent teeth always come in immediately?

For most kids, they will start to see the permanent teeth coming through the gums soon after losing the baby teeth. These permanent teeth were simply waiting in the wings for an opportunity to emerge. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Adult teeth may still be months away from developing. This can leave too much time for other teeth to move out of place and crowd the adult tooth that is trying to grow. Whenever it is ready, there won’t be room for it in the gums any longer.

This is one time where your dentist could suggest putting in a spacer to keep the gums open for a new tooth. By doing so, you may be able to prevent extensive orthodontic work in the future.

What should my child do with loose teeth?

Encourage them to wiggle the tooth as much as possible! They can keep moving it back and forth until it’s ready to come out. Don’t allow them to remove it by force because it might not be ready to let go just yet. Removing a tooth this way before it’s ready can lead to infection when the root is left behind.

Make sure that you get your child used to the dentist in order to protect the permanent teeth they are growing. At Markham Dental Centre, we have plenty of experience with kids and can help them to develop a beautiful smile for life!