You’re likely to celebrate when your baby pops out his or her first tooth, around three or four months, especially since it could put a temporary end to teething-related crying and drooling. And before your know it, the day will come when those amazing first teeth begin to loosen and fall out – another exciting developmental milestone, which starts to happen around age six.
Making room for permanent teeth
Usually, the first baby teeth to fall out are the two front teeth on the bottom and the two front teeth on the top. The last to go are usually molars, which typically fall out between the ages of nine and 12, and they are replaced by permanent teeth around 13.
Did you know?
Your baby’s baby teeth are supposed to stay in place until they are pushed out by their permanent teeth. In fact, if your child loses a baby tooth too early, say from tooth decay or injury, surrounding teeth might drift into the empty space to fill the gap, and this isn’t a good thing. It can cause permanent teeth to come in crooked.
Your child could be excited or nervous about losing a tooth
Losing teeth can seem strange to children, and it will be hard to keep them from wiggling at the loosened tooth with their tongue and fingers. Talk to your dentist about proper ways to deal with your child’s loose tooth, especially if it’s really bothering them to wait for it to fall out naturally. He or she might recommend trying to wait longer or extracting it in the dental office.
Their loss is your gain
When your child loses his or her first tooth, it gives you the perfect opportunity to start talking about and demonstrating the importance of good dental care:
- Tell them that teeth need to be brushed at least twice a day
- Show them by brushing your own teeth
- Supervise their brushing
- Show them how to floss