My Child Lost a Tooth . . . Now What?

Losing baby teeth is a natural part of every kid’s childhood. Whether your child has just wiggled his or her first baby tooth out or had a permanent tooth knocked out during a game of dodge ball, we have answers to your questions and are here to help with your emergencies.

What do I do when…my child loses a baby tooth?

A child’s 20 baby teeth typically fall out in the same order they come in, meaning the first teeth to be lost are usually the lower center teeth, or lower center incisors. Children may start losing their baby teeth anywhere from age 4 to age 7. The earlier a child began teething, the earlier baby teeth will begin to loosen. Some kids may lose teeth before age 4 or after age 7, but if this is the case with your child, it’s a good idea to check with a pediatric dentist to be sure there aren’t any underlying problems.

Most kids are excited about their first loose tooth and the possibility of a visit from the tooth fairy, but a few worry that losing a tooth will hurt. Reassure any worriers that they probably won’t even feel anything when their teeth fall out.

Encourage your child to wiggle those loose teeth but not to pull them out before they’re ready, since this makes the broken root more susceptible to infection. Once the loose tooth falls out, the gum may bleed a bit, but swishing the mouth out with water usually takes care of the problem. If your child’s gum continues to bleed, have him or her bite down on a piece of gauze or a clean towel. The bleeding should stop within an hour.

It may take a few weeks for a permanent tooth to replace the lost baby tooth, and once it comes in, you may notice that it looks bigger, has a few more pronounced ridges, and doesn’t look as white. This is all normal! Remember to help your children take extra good care of these new teeth, since these are the ones they will have forever.

What do I do when…my child loses a permanent tooth?

First, don’t panic! If you stay calm, this will help your child remain calm too. Next, retrieve the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown not the root. Gently clean it off with water, but don’t scrub it or use any soap.

If possible, place the tooth back in the socket it fell out of, and hold it there with gauze or a washcloth. But if you aren’t able to replace the tooth in the socket, put it in a clean container with milk until you are able to go to the dentist.

Whether you are able to return the tooth to its socket or not, you should take your child and the tooth to your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. It is important for your child to receive care as soon as possible in order to save the tooth.

Do you have any other questions about your child’s teeth? Schedule an appointment today. We would love to talk through any concerns you may have and help answer them.