Preparing your Child for Their First Loose Tooth
When your child reaches school age, he’s crossing many important milestones in his life. Aside from his social world expanding, it’s also the time when baby teeth start to fall out to make way for permanent teeth. Letting him know ahead of time what to expect can ease the shock and discomfort of losing the tooth and assure him that the whole thing is perfectly natural. Here’s some more info on what you and your child can expect when baby teeth become loose.
Preparing for Loose and Missing Teeth
While some children can lose teeth differently, the first baby teeth fall out around the age of six. The baby teeth will also generally fall out in the same order in which they came in, usually with the bottom front teeth falling out first, and while no one’s entirely sure why, girls typically get and lose their baby teeth faster than boys.
When the first tooth becomes loose, your child will let you know. He’ll most likely do this, anyway, but encourage him to wiggle the loose tooth around with his tongue. This will help loosen the bond between the root and the tooth. It may take days or even weeks for the tooth to completely fall out, and as long as the tooth isn’t causing severe pain and there’s no redness or swelling in the gums around the tooth, it’s best to let it come out on its own. It’s also common for a little bleeding to occur when it finally does. Having your child rinse her mouth with water afterwards will usually take care of the bleeding. If it continues, or there’s more than a little blood, have her bite down on a piece of gauze.
When to See the Dentist
In general, a loose tooth does not require a trip to the dentist unless the tooth is causing extreme discomfort or if the surrounding gums are swollen. Also, if your child stops brushing the loose tooth, the buildup could cause an infection in the gums.
The Proper Tooth Fairy Procedure
While many of us grew up getting a quarter per tooth from the tooth fairy, the going rate these days is a little higher. A dollar bill is the norm, but you’re also welcome to negotiate a higher amount from the tooth fairy if you’d like.