• Bye, Bye Baby Teeth!

    The childhood years are marked with many dental milestones. From baby’s first little chomper to wisdom teeth, the saga of losing and gaining teeth continues until late high school or early college. There are a slew of guides to help baby through the early teething years but a lot less information to cover the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth. Here’s what to expect in these trying times.

    You should see your child’s first adult tooth around age 5 or 6, slightly earlier for girls. The last baby tooth will likely fall out around age 12 or 13. Wisdom teeth have a much wider window and can start to erupt anytime from ages 16 – 25.

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    Losing Baby Teeth

    Typically the first of the baby teeth to come in will be the first to fall out. Most often this will be one of the two front teeth on either the top or bottom row. When a tooth can be pushed around from side to side it is probably ready to come out. Just take a piece of gauze, clutch the tooth, and give it a gentle twist and pull. The tooth should come out easily with little pain or discomfort for the child. Then it’s time for the Tooth Fairy or any other alternative ritual your family may have.

    When to Call the Dentist

    If your child loses a tooth due to an accident, the adult tooth may start to emerge early. This can prove problematic, because a tooth coming in prematurely can grow in crooked. Tooth trauma can also lead to infection, which may mean pain, swelling, bad breath, and sometimes fever. In these situations it is best to consult a dentist. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and determine whether corrective measures like braces are necessary.

    The Importance of Dental Hygiene

    The emergence of the first few adult teeth is the perfect time to help your child establish good dental hygiene. Explain to your child that these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life and they need to take care of them. Encourage brushing and flossing by making it a part of your child’s morning and bedtime schedule. Finally, take them to a dentist regularly – they’ll thank you for it later!

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