If you are a parent, you will experience (or have already) the day when your child runs up to you and announces that they have a loose tooth. Your child’s reaction to this change in their mouth can vary wildly: they might see a loose tooth as a symbol of pride, they may fear that their whole jaw is going to drop out next, or they may simply be curious, wriggling it around like an itch. Regardless of their reaction, remember that losing baby teeth is completely normal. Children can lose their first teeth as early as anywhere between 4-7 years old.
After the announcement, your child will realize that the tooth must come out one way or another. You yourself may even wonder how you should properly remove the loose baby tooth. The short answer? Patience. Follow these steps below to ensure your child experiences no pain during this monumental stage of dental development:
#1: Explain the situation
Most children won’t understand what is happening when they experience their first loose baby tooth. To prevent confusion or fear, take some time to sit down and explain how and why their tooth is falling out (hint: their permanent teeth are pushing their way up beneath their baby teeth). Make sure they understand that losing their baby tooth is normal.
Of course, do not forget the most important thing: remind them of the Tooth Fairy’s shortage of teeth, and how she is willing to pay good money for their loose tooth.
#2: Encourage gentle loosening
After explaining the situation to them, encourage them to keep gently wiggling their tooth and performing activities that will loosen the tooth’s roots. Here are a few examples:
- Eating thick or chewy foods (just remind your child not to accidentally swallow their tooth!)
- Properly brushing their teeth several times per day
- Wiggling the tooth with their tongue
When encouraging these actions, remember to advise them not to deliberately yank or pull out the tooth. Removing a loose baby tooth should be a slow, gradual process as the tooth loosens and falls out on its own. Pulling out the baby tooth before it is ready can lead to moderate pain and bleeding.
#3: Remind them to alert you
Tell them that the first thing they should do when their tooth pops out is to come to you immediately. This will prevent them from losing the tooth–literally.When they bring the tooth to you, you can ensure the tooth is cleaned and properly stored so that the Tooth Fairy has no trouble finding it during the night.
Removing a loose baby tooth is a monumental experience in the life of your child, so the most important thing to remember is to be supportive. For more information on how to improve and monitor your child’s dental health, contact Greenspoint Dental at our Houston, Texas offices today.