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Losing Baby Teeth

Many people do not realize the importance of baby teeth. In addition to affecting eating, appearance, and speech, the primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into their correct positions. This occurs because the permanent teeth develop under the primary teeth. The baby teeth save space for the permanent teeth in your mouth. Your child’s first baby tooth will come in between six and twelve months of age. By the time your child is three years old, all 20 baby teeth will have grown in.

The baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. Your child’s baby teeth may begin to loosen and fall out by about age six. If your child has extensive tooth decay or a dental accident, a tooth may be lost early. If this occurs, the surrounding teeth may drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw may also move up or down to fill in the gap. This can cause the permanent teeth to come in crooked.

Once your child has a loose tooth, they may enjoy wiggling it. This is perfectly fine and encouraged. However, if a tooth is not ready to come out, do not force it. This can break the tooth root and may cause an infection and other dental issues. Your child will likely be excited about losing teeth so that they can meet the tooth fairy. If you are lucky, they may even go to bed early for their first interaction with the tooth fairy.

Author
Dr. Chu

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