Losing baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth is a natural part of growing up. You may encourage your child to place her lost tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy to find, but you should take the situation seriously if her baby teeth fall out early due to accidents or tooth decay. These circumstances require special attention to prevent dental problems from developing (in the case of a knocked out tooth) or from spreading (in the case of tooth decay).
When baby teeth fall out naturally, they tend to follow a particular pattern. If your child loses teeth on a regular schedule and permanent teeth grow in normally, you don’t need to make a special trip to the dentist; just stick to your normal six-month visits for check-ups, x-rays and cleanings.
The correct order to lose baby teeth
While it varies from child to child, the first baby teeth should start falling out around the age of 6 or 7. The first to fall out are usually the two bottom front teeth, since these were the first to appear in your child’s mouth as an infant. The top two teeth come next at 7 to 8 years old. Baby teeth further back in the mouth continue to come loose as permanent teeth get ready to erupt. All baby teeth should fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth by age 12 or 13. (The second and third sets of molars, called the 12-year molars and wisdom teeth, erupt later without replacing baby teeth.)
How long does it take to lose baby teeth?
Once loose, a baby tooth can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to fall out. To speed up the process, you may encourage your child to wiggle her loose tooth. The new permanent tooth should begin to appear in the lost tooth’s place soon after, though it can take several months to grow in completely.
When to See a Dentist
If any of the following dental scenarios occur, schedule a special visit with Dr. Evanson.
Permanent teeth don’t grow in
Give a permanent tooth up to six months to erupt after a baby tooth falls out. If it fails to grow in, your child could have dental damage that requires an evaluation from Dr. Evanson.
Permanent teeth start growing in before the baby tooth falls out
Sometimes permanent teeth start to erupt before baby teeth fall out. When this happens, the permanent tooth may erupt out of the front of the gums. To remedy the problem before it gets worse, bring your child to Dr. Evanson to have the baby tooth pulled. This gives the permanent tooth room to grow in straight.
A baby tooth comes loose after an accident
If a hard knock to the face leaves your child with loose or missing teeth, assess the damage immediately. Rinse out your child’s mouth and look for broken tooth fragments. If the damaged tooth is only slightly loose, it should tighten by itself over time. If the tooth is pressed in, pulled out or pushed to the side, set an emergency appointment with Dr. Evanson. X-rays reveal possible root damage and help determine what treatment is necessary.
A baby tooth falls out early
The typical schedule for teeth to fall out is a guideline, but if your child loses baby teeth way off schedule, the teeth could be damaged by decay. Schedule a dentist appointment to discover the extent of the problem and begin restorative treatment if necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns about these loose tooth scenarios, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008.Leave a reply →