Baby teeth (milk teeth) are important even though they eventually fall out. Baby teeth allow the child to chew food, speak properly and they reserve the spaces in gum tissue for future adult teeth. Knocked-out adult teeth can be saved if they are properly cared for.
From the age of about six years, baby teeth start to become ‘wobbly’ and fall out to make way for adult teeth. It is perfectly normal for a child to lose their first tooth up to a year or two earlier or later than six years of age. Girls generally lose teeth earlier than boys. The first tooth to fall out is usually located in the front of the lower jaw.
Losing baby teeth can be unsettling and painful for young children. Suggestions for parents include:
Reassure your child that losing baby teeth is a natural process and new adult teeth will come in their place.
Use cold compresses or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain-killing drugs to help relieve loose tooth pain. Please consult your dentist or pharmacist for recommendations on appropriate medication for your child.
Offer reassurance – it’s normal for gums to be tender and bleed a little, although some children experience little or no discomfort while losing their teeth.
Make use of the Tooth Fairy. This mythology has lasted a long time for a good reason. If the idea of getting a coin in exchange for a tooth softens the idea of tooth loss for your child, then go ahead and use it!