You probably still remember when those baby teeth first showed up (who can forget teething?). So when they start to fall out, it can feel both shocking and a little bit sad.
But don’t worry — this isn’t a stage your child will rush through. Losing their teeth to make room for their adult teeth generally takes several years. While most kids start losing teeth around age 6 or 7, they generally won’t shed their molars until 10-12.
To help you navigate the process, Irene Zaki, DDS, and our team at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry created this guide. If you have any questions or want to ensure your child’s tooth loss is normal, you can always visit us in Riverside, California, for your family’s pediatric dentistry needs.
Navigating your child’s tooth loss
Children’s teeth fall out in a specific order, starting with the front teeth on both the top and the bottom. Their tooth loss works outward from there, finally reaching the molars — usually sometime after their 10th birthday.
Once your child’s tooth loosens, let nature take its course. Most kids’ teeth fall out naturally if given enough time, but if it’s bothering your child, you can remove it. The best way to do this is to grab the tooth with a piece of tissue and give it a gentle twist. If it doesn’t come out easily, leave it alone until it’s looser.
If your child pulls the tooth out, don’t worry. It was on its way out anyway.
What to do as each tooth falls out
Blood poses the biggest hurdle for both parents and kids when it comes to tooth loss. Don’t panic, though. A little bleeding is completely normal. Use a small gauze or a clean cloth to gently wipe the area. The bleeding should stop shortly.
To keep the socket clean, have your child rinse with a little warm salt water, assuming they’re game. If they’re not, that’s okay. They should be fine as long as they stay up with their normal oral hygiene routine (i.e., brushing and flossing).
If you plan to be a household that gets visited by the Tooth Fairy, make sure you save the tooth. Rinse off any blood and put it somewhere secure and dry so your child can place it under their pillow that night. And don’t forget to have some cash on hand for the exchange.
If you have any concerns — say, about a tooth that’s loose but not falling out or about your child’s tooth-loss timeline — we’re here. As an expert in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Zaki can evaluate your child’s mouth and help them enjoy good oral health as their adult teeth emerge.
For more help navigating the big milestone of baby tooth loss, call our office or request an appointment online today.