The average age for your child to begin losing his or her primary teeth is age six, with all permanent teeth in place by about age 13. When your child has a loose tooth, it can be an exciting yet somewhat anxious time for both of you. Knowing the proper way to help your child when his or her tooth is ready to come out is important. Your dentist can educate your child about losing their teeth and inspect them to gauge when they’re likely to come out.
Once a tooth is loose, here are some ways you can help make the transition easier:
- Prepare for bleeding. Let your child know that there will be some bleeding when the tooth comes out, which is only temporary and nothing to worry about.
- Keep up on good oral hygiene. Your child may be hesitant to brush the loose tooth areas surrounding it, but it’s important that he or she continues to brush daily and floss regularly, just a bit more gently around the tooth that is loose.
- Encourage wiggling. It’s tempting for your child to wiggle a loose tooth with his or her fingers or tongue, and that’s okay. Sometimes this is all it takes for the tooth to come out.
- Let them pull it. If a tooth is only slightly loose, leave it alone for now. When the tooth is loose enough to pull, allow your child to do it using tissue or a piece of gauze. Your child can best determine his or her level of discomfort and whether or not to stop pulling at any point.
After the tooth falls out, take the following steps:
- Use a damp cloth to apply pressure on the area, which will bleed slightly
- Gargle with warm water
- Instruct your child to be gently when brushing the area where the tooth fell out to avoid irritation
- Make a big deal of it – many parents tell their children about the “tooth fairy” in an effort to make losing teeth exciting rather than scary
If your child experiences any pain or the gums appear swollen or red, an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or ibuprofen may help. You can also try a topical numbing agent. If pain is severe, visit your dentist.
To learn more about what to do when your child has a loose tooth, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Stanley Hirst, DDS, and Bethany Jensen, DDS, at Broadway Family Dentistry today by calling 701-839-1299 to schedule a check-up.