Children eventually get 20 primary teeth. 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom. These teeth hold the place for the permanent teeth and are replaced around the age of 6. Typically the lower incisors are the first teeth to become loose. As the permanent tooth begins to erupt the roots of the primary tooth resorb until the tooth is loose enough to fall out. Obviously this is an ideal situation and does not happen with every child. Some children are hesitant to remove the tooth due to pain or discomfort and sometimes the roots of the primary teeth do not resorb enough to become loose.
1. Keep the loose tooth clean- It maybe a difficult task as some children are very reluctant to brush in the area (so a parent may have to assist). Not brushing will lead to inflammation of the gum tissue and make the area more uncomfortable for your child.
2. Bleeding around the gum-line adjacent to the loose tooth is common. Additionally, the loose tooth may have a pinkish-hue which is from the gum tissue showing through. But even if your brushing and the the gum still becomes irritated and swollen you can try placing listerine on a q-tip and swab the area before bedtime.
3. Eat crunchy foods. Have your child snack on apples as an example and make sure they are chewing on the side of the loose tooth.
4. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth (with clean hands) or with their tongue.
5. What about “Shark Teeth?”Sometimes the permanent incisors erupt while the primary teeth have yet to exfoliate. If it happens with the lower incisors, once the primary tooth exfoliates, the tongue will push the permanent incisors forward. However if it happens with the upper incisors, it can lead to a cross bite if the primary teeth are not removed quickly.
How to“wiggle” a tooth out at home.
1. Wash your hands.
2. Using tissue paper or gauze, check the mobility of the tooth
3. Twist the tooth rather than pull. The incisors are conical shaped so the motion is similar to replacing a lightbulb. Sometimes it helps to get a fingernail between the tooth and gum when removing the tooth.
4. Once the tooth is out fold a clean piece of gauze or tissue and have your child bite for a few minutes. Bleeding is a normal but should subside within a few minutes.
5. Average tooth fairy payout is $4-5
If you have any questions, concerns, or need some assistance in the process please schedule an appointment with our office today, your child’s beautiful smile begins here!