As your child grows, so does their smile, and part of this journey involves losing those adorable baby teeth and welcoming permanent ones. It’s an exciting and essential part of your children’s dental care. Let us take you through the process of tooth loss and the arrival of permanent teeth. We’ll also share tips on how to navigate this milestone with your little one. Let’s dive in!
The Tale of Two Sets of Teeth: Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of tooth loss and permanent teeth, let’s quickly review the basics. Your child has two sets of teeth: baby teeth (primary teeth) and permanent teeth. Baby teeth usually start coming in when your child is around 6 months old, and they serve essential roles in chewing, speech development, and maintaining space for the permanent teeth to come.
When and How Baby Teeth Are Lost
The journey to a full set of permanent teeth often begins around the age of 6 or 7. This is when the process of shedding baby teeth and replacing them with permanent ones typically starts. Here’s what to expect:
Loosening: Your child’s baby teeth will start to loosen as the roots gradually dissolve. This can happen anytime between the ages of 6 and 7.
Timing: The order of tooth loss can vary, but it’s common for the lower front teeth (lower central incisors) to go first, followed by the upper front teeth (upper central incisors). The process continues with the lateral incisors, canines, and molars.
Shedding: As each baby tooth becomes sufficiently loose, it will naturally fall out. You might notice your child wiggling it with their tongue or fingers. That’s a sure sign it’s almost time!
Arrival of Permanent Teeth: Once a baby tooth falls out, the permanent tooth beneath it should gradually emerge. This process can take a few weeks, and you’ll notice the new tooth has a slightly different shape.
Handling the Excitement: Celebrating Milestones
Losing a tooth is a big deal for kids, and it’s an excellent opportunity for celebration. Here are some fun ideas to make tooth loss an exciting milestone:
Tooth Fairy Traditions: Encourage your child to place their lost tooth under their pillow. In exchange, the Tooth Fairy can leave a small surprise or a special note.
Tooth-Brushing Adventures: Make tooth brushing an adventure by using fun toothbrushes and tasty toothpaste flavors. This reinforces good oral hygiene habits.
Keepsake Boxes: Create a keepsake box where your child can store their lost teeth. It’s a sweet way to cherish these precious memories.
Healthy Tooth Celebration: Celebrate the arrival of permanent teeth by treating your child to their favorite healthy snack or meal.
Losing baby teeth and welcoming permanent ones is an exciting and natural part of your child’s dental journey. It’s a time for celebration and fostering good oral hygiene habits. At Molldrem Family Dentistry in Lakeville and Eden Prairie, we’re here to support you and your child every step of the way. If you have any questions or need guidance on pediatric dental care, feel free to reach out to us. We’re just a phone call away at 952-974-5116 or book an appointment online. Here’s to those radiant smiles and all the joyful toothless grins along the way!