5 December 2022
Losing a tooth is a massive milestone in any child's life, not to mention an incredibly emotional reminder for any parent that their child is growing up. Little ones can begin losing their baby teeth as early as six years old, though certain health conditions may cause teeth to fall out prematurely or, in some cases, may be delayed.
To make the experience as positive as possible for the children at the heart of it, here are a few things parents can keep in mind.
Encourage Them To Wiggle
Does your little one have a loose tooth? One of the most frustrating things for parents is when a tooth looks ready to come out but either isn't ready to come out on its own or is just hanging on for dear life; conversely, your child perhaps isn't prepared to let it go.
One key is transparency, gently explaining why your child is losing teeth and explaining the grandeur of getting replacement big kid teeth—and tacking on the excitement of a visit by the tooth fairy. This will encourage them to start wiggling the tooth independently with a clean finger, tongue or tissue. Also, let them take the lead, as getting aggressive about wanting to get the tooth out could leave them either scared or upset (dependent on their pain threshold).
The Tooth Is Out, Now What?
Your child's first reaction to losing their first tooth will depend significantly on how well they've dealt with things up until that point. A child who's been on board from the moment they felt the thrill of the first wiggle would likely be ecstatic and want to spend the evening preparing for a tooth fairy visit. Those who may have been more frightened or reluctant to grasp the impending change to their smile may be more put off or, in the case of seeing some blood, a little panicky.
In the second case, it's essential to tell them that blood is normal and help them rinse their mouth with water. Make sure to remind your child to keep brushing their teeth properly and to be gentle around the missing tooth until their gums have healed and their new tooth comes in (if it hasn't already).
The Aftermath & Next Steps
Even though your child may be losing their baby teeth, it is vital to explain why they have to brush and floss twice a day. Inevitable loss is no excuse to let up on good dental hygiene, ensuring no food is lodged between teeth and flossing if necessary.
Just as important as regular trips to the dentist are well-balanced meals and snacks that are low in sugar. This way, you can be sure that your child's new teeth are growing both straight and healthy.
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