September is just around the corner, which means new teachers and new shoes. Ottawa family dentists know for parents with children aged five to eight, it’s also the start of a memorable series of school pictures featuring tiny baby teeth, followed by toothless smiles, and then huge adult teeth in still-small faces.
Children are usually quite excited to announce their first loose tooth. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth gently but not to yank it. Teeth will fall out on their own when they are ready to, and forcing them is not recommended. Family dentists usually reassure their young patients that losing baby teeth is painless, although the emergence of the six-year molars can sometimes cause discomfort, similar to teething pain.
Dentists in Ottawa are often asked when their child will start losing their baby teeth. The rule of thumb is first in, first out. The front teeth that appear in infancy are normally the first to go. Your child can lose teeth up until age 12 when the 12-year molars appear.
Of course, as with all child development, there is a wide range of normal. Babies who get teeth early usually lose their teeth on the early side too. Late teethers are usually the last ones in their class to add their entry to the tooth-fairy book. Dentists in Ottawa tell parents there is no need to worry if your child falls a little outside the norm. A loose tooth on a four-year-old would still be considered in the range of normal, although your family dentist might want to rule out trauma or decay. Children with Down ’s syndrome lose baby teeth later, and girls usually lose teeth a little faster than boys. Falling on the later side of the range might give your child’s jaw a little extra time to grow, but if your child hasn’t lost any teeth by age seven, your family dentist might recommend x-rays to check for a bone blocking the permanent tooth from descending. Occasionally, children can develop a double row of “shark teeth,” when permanent teeth come in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Since the adult tooth absorbs the root of the baby tooth, this is a temporary condition and not a cause for concern.
Dentists in Ottawa emphasize the importance of good dental hygiene at this stage. This is the last and only set of teeth your child will have, so make sure you supervise at least one brushing per day up to about age 8 to ensure proper technique. Why not add a new toothbrush to their school supply list while you’re at it? Toothbrushes should be replaced every 2-3 months to be most effective. Check with your family dentist for any concerns you may have about your child’s teeth. They will ensure every visit from the Tooth Fairy will be a happy one.