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Do you remember when you lost your first tooth? Were you frightened, excited, or extremely anxious? For many children, the prospect of losing a tooth can be a traumatic experience that can cause a great deal of stress in their lives. Other children might be eager to join their classmates and friends who have also lost their teeth, procuring a status symbol meaning they are more grown up.
No matter how your child is feeling, it is important to talk to your children when they have loose teeth, to explain what is happening and to calm any fears they might have. Explain that losing teeth is a normal process that everyone goes through, and encourage them by telling them how exciting the new changes will be. Mentioning the tooth fairy might help, if your child is easily incentivized. When talking to your children, encourage them to wiggle it out on their own, and be sure to know that it could take a few days to fall out. It is important not to force the tooth out or use the classic television method of tying a string to a door to yank it out. This could cause damage to the mouth as the roots can break off rather than having the tooth come out cleanly when it is ready. Prematurely forcing the tooth out can lead to infection.
Children might also try to avoid brushing their teeth or eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables while they have a loose or missing tooth. It is important that they maintain healthy habits even while they are undergoing the process of losing teeth to avoid cavities and gum infections.
If your child takes longer to lose his or her first tooth, you might want to talk to them to make sure they don’t feel left out or abnormal because all the other kids at school have lost teeth already. Eventually, the teeth will begin to fall out, and it isn’t a contest to see who loses their teeth first. If your child is past the age of seven and hasn’t began to lose their baby teeth, there probably isn’t any need for worry, but it is encouraged to schedule a visit to our office to make sure everything is healthy.