Losing baby teeth can be a scary experience for your child, no matter how much they look forward to a visit from the Tooth Fairy! It helps to understand why their teeth are falling out — and that new grown-up teeth are coming in! Here’s everything you need to know about baby teeth. So, when it’s time to take your little one to a kid-friendly dentist, you can answer their questions and get them excited about their adult teeth.
Why Do We Have Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth?
To help us start eating solid food, our teeth come in as early as six months of age. They generally erupt in sets of four, with a new set every six months or so. The front teeth come in first. Most people get all 20 of their baby teeth by the age of three. (Hint: With each new set of baby teeth, it’s time for another appointment with your pediatric dentist in Lafayette!)
These teeth are small but essential. They help your child properly chew solid food, learn to talk, and develop their face. Plus, they make way for the adult teeth to come in! So, keep them healthy and take your child to a pediatric dentist. Indianapolis features lots of dentist offices for kids, which can be less scary for your little one.
When Do Baby Teeth Start to Fall Out?
The first baby teeth to come in (usually the front incisors) are typically the first to fall out. As those develop inside the gums, the root of the baby tooth begins to weaken. Your child will find that the tooth wiggles a bit. They may feel a little pain, especially if the loose tooth is pulling on the root. (Some teeth can have mighty strong roots!) This happens around 6 or 7 as the jaw, and facial bones start growing to make room for adult teeth.
Please encourage your child to let the tooth come out naturally rather than pulling on it. Once it does, have them rinse out their mouth with a saltwater solution. If the empty tooth socket is bleeding, add a bit of gauze. Of course, your friendly neighborhood children’s dentist can help with troublesome teeth.
Once the baby tooth is gone, the new grown-up tooth can “erupt,” i.e., come through the gums. This can take up to 6 months!
What If My Child’s Teeth Aren’t Coming In … or Falling Out?
Pay attention to the timing of your child’s baby teeth and the order in which they come in. This provides you with a general timeline for those teeth falling out and being replaced. Some kids have their first teeth in a little later, and some have more extended periods between eruptions. You usually don’t have to worry unless you’ve seen no new teeth for at least a year.
Once your kid starts losing their baby teeth, refer back to that timeline. This way, you can estimate which teeth will fall out when. Pay attention to any teeth that come out ahead of schedule. Whether your child tripped and knocked out a tooth or loses a tooth earlier than expected, this could leave them with an empty socket yet not enough time or space for the adult tooth to erupt. Always take your little one to your pediatric dentist if they lose teeth early.
As with baby teeth, adult teeth take time to come in. Sometimes, there isn’t enough space for the new teeth. If the baby tooth was forcibly removed, this could cause the emerging tooth to get lodged in the jaw. This often isn’t an issue, but if the adult tooth doesn’t fill the empty socket within a year, there could be a problem. In any case, take your child to your preferred pediatric dentist in Lafayette or Indianapolis to diagnose the problem.
Wrapping Up — The Dentist is Your Friend!
In any situation, regular dental checkups are crucial for your child’s overall tooth development. Let your kid know what to expect. Then, get them accustomed to dental care. Kids who understand what’s going on will be less nervous about their teeth switching over! And you’ll rest assured knowing what’s normal and what means it’s time to visit your children’s dentist in Indianapolis.
Need a kid-friendly dentist in Lafayette? Reach out to Pediatric Dentistry West.