When will my child lose baby teeth?
One of the joys of parenthood is sharing in the excitement of your child's first loose tooth -- but when should the tooth fairy be prepared to make an appearance?
Just like children, everyone's teeth are different, but with the right information about when kids lose teeth and tips on how to help your child deal with the discomforts, you will be prepared when your child loses his first baby tooth.
Children typically begin to lose teeth between ages four and six, while some kids don't lose their first tooth until as late as age eight. Baby teeth will begin to fall out in the order they made their appearance, with girls typically shedding teeth earlier than boys, but not always.
When to worry
Are your youngster's baby teeth not making an exit by the time your child is eight years old? Or, is a loose tooth being stubborn? Talk to your child's dentist about any concerns you have. X-rays can confirm whether adult teeth are beneath the gum's surface or if your child will need some assistance from the dentist to lose teeth via extraction.
How to comfort discomforts
As the tooth fairy's pending appearance draws near, wiggly baby teeth can cause gums to become swollen and tender, and may even bleed slightly as it breaks free from the roots. To help minimize the discomforts, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth for 10 to 15 minutes for swelling, or place gauze and pressure directly to bleeding gums. Extreme swelling may warrant acetaminophen while Baby Orajel can numb minor pain.
Note that your child's first experience losing teeth can lead to anxiety for your kiddo, so never pull baby teeth out for your youngster. "He was rather upset, doesn't want his adult teeth, plans to pull them all out and put his baby teeth back in," said Jen Hancock of www.jen-hancock.com. "He wanted me to keep his tooth safe for him in case he wanted it again. I think at this point he is fine with the new tooth coming in and he hasn't asked for any money or about the whereabouts of his baby tooth, so I think I got off with zero cash outlay!"
So, let your kid lose teeth on his own and encourage him to wiggle it with his own tongue or finger. Before long, he just may realize that the tooth fairy is a worthwhile cause for losing his baby teeth after all!