Childhood is an exciting time for many reasons, but it is a time full of changes as well. Just when you start to notice your children’s teeth growing, it’ll feel like they’re about to fall out! In actuality, it typically takes between 6 to 8 years for all of the baby teeth to be replaced with permanent teeth.
Losing baby teeth is a natural process, and very rarely has any complications you’ll need to worry about. For the few issues that can occur, regular pediatric dentist visits will help your child develop a proper smile. Even so, it is an important part of your child’s development, so here’s what you’ll want to know when it comes to your child and losing their first set of teeth.
Why do Baby Teeth Fall Out?
When your child is about 6 to 12 months old, their first set of teeth will start to appear. This set is their baby teeth, so named because it is the teeth they develop while they’re a baby. Traditionally, these teeth will fully develop by the age of 3, but only 20 of the 32 teeth that adults have will appear.
Baby teeth fall out to make room for the mature, second set of teeth that they’ll have for the rest of their adult lives. The adult tooth actually pushes against the baby tooth, loosening it and dissolving the root in preparation for the adult tooth. Once a tooth is loose, it may fall out on its own after a day or two, or may require a few weeks before it’s ready to be taken out.
What Should I Do With Loose Teeth Once A Tooth Falls Out?
Loose teeth are very interesting for kids, which often tempts them to play with their own mouths. Generally, you’ll want to avoid that as much as you can. Kids live fun and active lifestyles, but don’t often keep their hands as clean as adults. Try to help your kids avoid filling their mouths with harmful bacteria by helping them avoid wiggling their own teeth as much as possible.
Once the tooth does fall out, gums may be sore or even bleeding. Reassure your child that they’ll be fine, then help them gargle a small amount of saltwater. This will help sanitize your child’s mouth, besides helping with gum sensitivity after losing a tooth. Avoid brushing the spot where the tooth fell out for about a day or two, especially if the gum area is extremely irritated.
One popular question many parents ask is whether you should pull baby teeth out. In general, the answer is no. Baby teeth fall out naturally, and pulling it out prematurely can cause gum damage and other mouth pain. Just encourage your child to regularly brush, or try eating an apple about once a day, and the baby tooth will come out when it’s ready.
When Should I See A Dentist About Loose Teeth?
To maintain proper oral health, it is recommended that child and adult patients alike visit their dentist at least once every 6 months for a regular oral examination and teeth cleaning. This is a great opportunity to evaluate the patient’s teeth, even if it’s a child losing their baby teeth.
In general, there is little to be concerned about as children’s teeth fall out and are replaced with their adult set. However, it may be worth consulting your pediatric dentist if your child experiences one of the following:
- Extreme mouth pain after a tooth falls out.
- Serious mouth sensitivity or bleeding after losing a tooth.
- A loose tooth hasn’t fallen out after wiggling for more than 3 weeks.
- No teeth have fallen out by the age of 9.
- The baby tooth falls out as fragments or in multiple pieces.
Great Pediatric Dentistry With The Smile Architects
Losing teeth is a natural part of growing up, and for the most part it is an easy process that you won’t need to pay much attention to if your child follows good oral habits. That said, as the baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth, it’ll be even more important than before to help your loved ones maintain good oral hygiene.
There’s no better way to help your children maintain their smile than by visiting a pediatric dentist. If you live near Huntersville, North Carolina, you can visit The Smile Architects for the specialized youth dental care. We’ll make sure your children’s teeth are growing properly with every visit, and offer a wide range of services to correct any issues we find.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment here at The Smile Architects!