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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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The Do's and Don'ts for Dealing with Your Child's First Lost Tooth

Posted on 1/13/2016 by Cynthia Pelley
A little girl that has lost her tooth!Your child's first loose tooth is cause for celebration and a major milestone in his life. However, if you and your child don't really know what to expect, it can also be a nerve-wracking experience. By better understanding what you should and shouldn't do when your child has his first loose tooth, you'll be ready when the time comes.

Do Prepare Your Child for that First Tooth Loss

Your child will typically lose his first tooth between ages 5 and 7. While your child may have heard about the Tooth Fairy, you need to take steps to prepare him for the event so that he knows what to expect.

Otherwise, it can be kind of scary when he suddenly has a gap in his smile. Be sure to explain the process form a positive standpoint, explaining that the tooth will start to wiggle before falling out. There are a variety of great books out there that can help your child to get ready for the big event.

Don't Wiggle or Try to Pull Your Child's Tooth Out

You should encourage your child to push on a loose tooth with their tongue or finger, but you shouldn't try to prematurely pull the tooth out. He alone will know his pain threshold and how much the tooth can be moved without hurting him, so don't inflict any unnecessary discomfort by trying to force the tooth out before it is ready.

Do Support and Comfort Your Child
Your child may feel as though the process of losing a tooth is uncomfortable and painful, and loose teeth can cause the gums to become swollen or tender. Once the tooth falls out, these problems should resolve, but your child may need comfort until that happens. Try giving him children's Tylenol to help with pain, and you can also place a cold compress on his face in order to help with symptoms.

Don't Be too Aggressive When You're Caring for Your Child's Mouth

After your child's tooth falls out, he may have a wound in that area. Until the sore heals, don't give him any harsh mouth rinses, and be careful to brush this area of his mouth gently. With a soft diet and gentle brushing, your child's gums will naturally begin to heal on their own.

Do Reward Your Child for a Lost Tooth

Losing a tooth is part of the growing process and will be an exciting time in his life. Encourage your child to wiggle a loose tooth so that it falls out on its own, as this can promote a positive experience, especially when rewards and praise are added. Whether the Tooth Fairy makes a visit to your house or he receives a different type of reward, he will become excited to lose another one, and the process won't be as scary the next time that he has a loose tooth.

Don't Ignore Early Tooth Loss or Accidents

The baby teeth have a specific purpose, as they help with proper eating and speaking while holding the space needed for the permanent teeth. If the baby teeth are lost early due to an accident or injury, dental treatment may be needed in the form of an artificial space maintainer. These appliances can help to hold open a space for a permanent tooth so that the rest of the teeth don't shift out of position. This could possibly prevent future orthodontic work.

If you have questions about your child's first loose tooth, or if your child experiences complications involving his teeth, feel free to contact us. We can provide guidance on what is and is not normal when it comes to losing teeth.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202