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Losing Baby Teeth – When It Will Happen and What to Expect

Sep 4, 2014 - 08:09 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Pediatric Dentistry

Losing baby teeth can be an exciting prospect for little ones who have just learned about the tooth fairy, and it’s an important milestone for both kids and parents. Here are a few general facts and tips about the process.

How Many Teeth Do Children Lose from Start to Finish?

Each child has 20 baby teeth that usually erupt by the age of three. All 20 will be lost. They generally fall out in the order in which they erupted, with the lower central teeth coming out first around age five or six. Baby teeth begin to loosen when the permanent teeth below them push their way in.

How Many Teeth Do Children Lose Early?

Accidents or dental disease can cause a child to lose a baby tooth prematurely. A pediatric dentist can insert a plastic placeholder called a spacer in the gap until the new tooth comes in; this help to prevent future spacing issues. If your child loses more than one tooth before the age of four, it’s best to consult a pediatric dentist to be sure there is no underlying problem. Most kids are finished losing baby teeth around 12 or 13 when their 12-year molars erupt.

How to Handle a Wiggly Tooth

If your child complains of a wobbly tooth, encourage him or her to wiggle it gently to loosen it. Make sure your child knows not to pull the tooth out prematurely as this can lead to infection. Losing baby teeth doesn’t usually cause discomfort. In most cases, the tooth will fall out painlessly on its own.

Caring for Your Child’s New Permanent Teeth

When the new teeth erupt, good oral care is more important than ever. Supervise your child’s brushing until he or she is around eight years old and can spit out toothpaste reliably. Replace toothbrushes every two or three months to reduce bacterial growth and optimize effectiveness. Be sure to schedule appointments with your pediatric dentist twice every year.

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