When Will My Child Start to Lose Their Baby Teeth?
As parents we know that our children will all develop at different paces. However, this academic knowledge seems to dissipate when we feel that our child is falling behind others of their age, or when milestones come about sooner than we expect.
When it comes to dental matters, it’s good to know what to expect and when to expect it, which is why so many parents search for information online about when their child will lose their baby teeth.
We’d like to assist with some of the most common questions on this topic to help set your mind at ease and help you to prepare for the exciting times ahead.
Losing baby teeth
Most children will start to lose their baby teeth around the age of six. However, it is not uncommon to have children as young as four with wiggly teeth.
If your child has lost teeth early, it’s worth investigating whether there was any trauma where they may have banged their mouth or tooth. We’d also look out for decay which may result in the early loss of baby teeth.
If they have lost one of the front top or bottom teeth and there is no sign of trauma or decay, then you likely don’t have anything to worry about.
It’s also worth noting that girls tend to get their baby teeth earlier than boys and lose them sooner too. Dentists aren’t certain why, but it’s worth remembering this fact if you see that your little girl is the first one in her class to sport a gap in her teeth.
Which teeth fall out first?
Baby teeth are likely to stay put until the permanent teeth start pushing through. The first teeth to go are usually the bottom front incisors, followed by the top front incisors.
Then the body usually works to replace the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and then the second molars.
These primary teeth act as a guide for the permanent teeth, leaving a space for them and ensuring that they come up in the right position. It can take a little while for these new teeth to align though as they are bigger than the little nub that they’re replacing.
For the most part, the lips and tongue as well as the surrounding teeth will push the new teeth into the right position over time. If the teeth are coming through early, or faster than the child’s face is growing then you may see some crowding. Chat with your dentist if this happens and they will be able to guide you in the most effective way to straighten out your child’s smile.
Should I pull loose teeth out?
There’s usually no reason to pull out a loose tooth. Your child will likely fiddle with it and of course, our tongues seem to naturally want to explore any exciting event in our mouth, so in time the tooth will come out on its own.
Often it will fall out while chewing or brushing and will bleed a little, but there should be no pain or discomfort.
Caring for permanent teeth
Looking after baby teeth is essential, but when permanent teeth come through, we need to be extra vigilant.
By the time these slightly jagged big-people teeth make their appearance, our children should have a good dental routine and understand the importance of careful and thorough cleaning.
What should this include?
- Supervised brushing at least twice a day with a soft brush.
- Gentle daily flossing.
- Regular visits to the dentist for cleaning and check-ups.
A healthy diet is critical for both the development and care of your child’s teeth. Therefore, sugary snacks should be limited, and a diet high in calcium (cheese, milk, and yoghurt), celery, carrots, leafy greens, nuts, and oily fish will help with the building blocks of healthy teeth and gums.
We always want to encourage our children to drink lots of water which helps to keep their mouths clean and hydrated. Water dilutes food acids and reduces their effect on tooth enamel, and of course, is a brilliant substitute for sodas or other sugary drinks.
Do you have questions or concerns about your child losing their baby teeth?
It’s natural for parents to carefully map their children’s progress, and when it comes to their teeth, we advise that you bring your little people in as young as possible so that we can assist you with caring for their dental health.