As a baby, your child will begin to get their first set of teeth. As your baby turns into a toddler and continues to grow to school age, this first set of teeth will begin to be replaced by their second set or permanent teeth. Loosing teeth is an important milestone for children. Most often the loss of baby teeth will begin about the same time that your child starts kindergarten. Here’s what to expect when your child starts to lose their teeth and which teeth to expect them to lose first:
- The first sign that your child might be getting ready to lose their first tooth is a tooth that becomes wiggly. Your child may excitedly show you a tooth that becomes wiggly in anticipation of it coming out. Some children may feel anxiety over their first wiggly tooth as well and fear that the tooth coming out will be painful. In either case it is important to assure your child that losing a tooth is natural and while there may be some slight discomfort when it finally comes out it is very brief.
- You can often know which teeth your child will lose first by remembering which teeth they got first as a baby. Typically, baby teeth come out in the order they came in. This means that the most common teeth for a child to lose first are their four front teeth, two upper and two lower. Typically the lower teeth come and are lost first and then the upper teeth.
- Each tooth is lost as the permanent tooth below the baby tooth begins to push it up out of the way. As the permanent tooth grows below and emerges into the gum line it will begin to make the baby tooth above it wiggly. As the tooth continues to erupt it will further push the baby tooth out of the way. In most cases you can pull the baby tooth when it becomes wiggly enough without too much pain. In some cases permanent teeth begin to erupt and the baby teeth are still tightly secured. It is commonly seen by pediatric dentists where the more permanent teeth begin to emerge from the gums behind the baby teeth. If you begin to see the permanent teeth emerging encourage wiggling. If the baby teeth do not move on their own you may need to schedule a visit with your child’s dentist to have them extracted.
As your child begins to experience wiggly teeth and losing baby teeth, it is important to be positive about the changes. Continue to teach proper oral hygiene and teeth brushing throughout the process and let your child enjoy the experience of losing baby teeth. For some children losing baby teeth may also inspire a visit by the tooth fairy.