- 3 mins
When Do Kids Start Losing Teeth?
When do our kids start losing their baby teeth? The short answer is that kids usually start to lose teeth around 6. According to the American Dental Association (2021), some children’s teeth start loosening earlier and others later. Shedding baby teeth and primary teeth erupting can last until around the age of 12. This makes it a long process with many changes. Oral hygiene is essential, for all ages, including teaching your child how to thoroughly brush their teeth. I gathered some of the most common questions regarding losing teeth and oral hygiene with some input for parents and children.
My child’s tooth is loose, what should I do?
Good news for all the fellow squirmish moms out there. Dentists advise parents not to interfere with loose teeth. Memories of pulling teeth with a string and a rapid door swing still haunt me today. It is now understood that primary teeth will find their way, if you will, at their own pace and should not be provided access by a forced exit from the baby teeth. It is however fine for your child to play with their wiggly tooth with their tongue or washed hands.
Which teeth will my kids start to lose first?
Usually, it will either be the bottom two in the center or the top two teeth at the center, which are called the central incisors. This can also vary as some children lose different teeth first, but this is nothing to be concerned about.
How and when should I teach my child about oral hygiene?
It is important to teach your child as young as possible the importance of good oral hygiene. It will not only help with their daily hygiene routine and reduce potential cavities in their teeth but also with their independence and sense of accountability. Try and teach your child to brush their own teeth, helping them with a hand-over-hand prompt, if needed. Your child can also start flossing as soon as they have two teeth touching or in close proximity.
Should I use the Tooth Fairy with my children?
This is a personal choice – to speak about your children about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and others. Personally, I believe that it is child-dependent and if your child enjoys fantasy stories or tales, it might offer an opportunity to teach them about certain rituals and beliefs. Perhaps we can mention to our children that the Tooth Fairy only likes clean teeth for the house she is building and that she inspects these through a magnifying glass. Personally, I believe in teaching a child from a young age about the science and reason behind certain rituals – like brushing your teeth, losing your baby teeth and taking care of your primary teeth.
Finally, I would mention that it can be uncomfortable for your kids when they start to lose their teeth. They might feel a little uncertain and unsure of why and how this is happening. I suggest creating a “social story” where you can show what is going to happen and how it might feel. Add your child’s photo to the social story to ensure they are able to associate with it better.
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Tooth eruption: The primary teeth. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/publications/Files/patient_56.pdf. Accessed Oct. 25, 2021.