Losing Teeth

Q & A About Losing Teeth

A visit from the Tooth Fairy is a much anticipated right of passage when it comes to growing up. When those first teeth start to get loose, children and parents both have questions about what will happen and when. We asked our resident tooth fairy , Dr. Eric DeShazer (GraceMed Chief Dental Officer), a few questions about losing baby teeth.

Q: When do children begin the process of losing teeth?

A: Typically children begin to lose baby teeth around age 6 and the process is usually complete by age 12. However, it can vary widely. Some children begin at 4, and some are delayed by several years.

Q: What does the parent need to watch for as the tooth becomes more “wiggly”?

A: As long as the tooth is becoming more and more wiggly, there are no concerns. Encourage the child to wiggle the tooth frequently, and it shouldn’t be an issue.

Q: When is it okay to go ahead and pull out the loose tooth?

A: A parent or child will only be able to remove it themselves when it moves a lot.

Q: When does a child need to see the dentist about a baby tooth?

A: If they are not becoming wiggly, or you begin to see the permanent tooth but the baby tooth is still there, the child needs to see the dentist. Sometimes adult teeth are not present to replace the baby tooth, and sometimes the baby tooth needs help to be extracted. Occasionally, the baby tooth that isn’t coming loose will then change the eruption course for the adult tooth and it will come in malpositioned.

Taking care of baby teeth is very important. These tiny teeth help with speech development and chewing correctly. They are also the placeholders for future adult teeth. Be sure to check in with your pediatric dentist when your child is about a year old or those first teeth come in. Your dentist will let you know when to begin scheduling check-ups and help you establish those good dental habits that will help teeth last a lifetime.