Answers To Your Questions About Your Child's Baby Teeth

Posted on: 16 September 2016

The first loose tooth is a major right of passage for a young child. Often it is met with much wiggling and playing with until it falls out on its own. If all goes well, this process will be completed 20 times until all the baby teeth fall out by the time your child is a young teen. As a parent, there are some things you should be aware of as these teeth become loose.

Is there a specific order to tooth loss?

There is a rough order, although it is not exact nor is it the same for every child. In general, the front teeth fall out first, followed by the back teeth. If a back tooth falls out before any teeth in front are lost, consult with your dentist to make sure there are no problems. Usually everything is fine, but it's best to make sure there isn't any hidden trauma that caused the premature loss of a back tooth.

Should you pull out a baby tooth?

It used to be common practice for parents to speed the process of tooth loss. There were many tactics used, such as tying a string around the tooth and yanking. As a general rule this is a bad idea. The baby tooth will come out when it is ready – pulling it out prematurely can damage the gums, interfere with chewing and eating, or even cause infection.

Does this mean a child shouldn't wiggle?

No. Wiggling, especially with the tongue, is the usual way of breaking down the roots of the baby tooth so that it comes out naturally. A child can judge their own level of pain and knows when to ease off on wiggling, which differs from an adult forcefully pulling out the tooth. The only concern is if your child prefers to wiggle with their fingers. In this case, make sure they wash their hands well before they start a wiggling session.

Is there any time when a baby tooth should be pulled?

Yes, but it should be done by the dentist and not by a parent. Signs that a baby tooth may need pulled include an adult tooth that is growing in behind or in front of a barely loose baby tooth, a baby tooth that is being pushed into a neighboring tooth without loosening, or a baby tooth that is causing major discomfort. If any of these things are occurring, schedule an appointment with a dentist like Neu Family Dental Center.