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5 Things to do When Your Child Loses a Tooth

Each child has a different reaction when it comes to losing their first tooth. For some, this can be an exciting experience and they will impatiently wait for the tooth fairy’s arrival, others might not be as keen and could be more afraid of any potential pain. However, what they do have in common is their permanent teeth are well on their way. Here are ten things all parents need to do when their child loses a tooth.

Stay Calm

When a child loses their first tooth it can be equally as exciting or terrifying for the parents. Staying calm is the best thing to do in these situations.

Put the Tooth in a Ziplock Bag: Once your child has pulled the tooth out, it is a good idea to have a ziplock bag handy. Keeping the tooth in the bag will make it easier to hold on to until the tooth fairy comes.

Wipe Your Child's Gums: More often than not, after the tooth has been removed there is blood. Wipe your child's gums with a soft cloth or gauze as soon as you notice the blood. Cleaning up the area will help prevent a bad taste in their mouth and cause them less panic when seeing blood.

Use a Topical Anesthetic: Pulsing, throbbing and discomfort are all normal symptoms your child might experience after losing a tooth. Purchasing an over the counter topical anesthetic to soothe this sensation is an easy and effective way to ease your child's nerves.

Update Oral Health Care Routine

Losing a tooth is a big deal for your child, in the myths of excitement it’s important to remind them that they still have to take care of their teeth and now the empty spot where their adult tooth will be growing into. Taking proper care of your child’s baby teeth will mean healthy and strong adult teeth are not far behind.

Clean The Area: To ensure a healthy mouth, you can take a warm wet cloth and rub the area where the tooth once was to get rid of any dry blood. This can also help the pain if they are suffering from a throbbing gum or irritation in the area.

Rinse With Warm Water: Having blood in the mouth a few days after the tooth has come out is completely normal. To clean your child’s mouth properly and to get rid of the taste, it is a good idea to rinse with warm saltwater.

Brush Normally: It’s common for children to spend too much time trying to brush the area where their tooth once was, this can cause irritation to the gums and sensitivity. Remind them to brush and floss as they normally would and to skip the new gap in their mouth if it is sensitive a few days after the tooth comes out.

Let Nature Take It’s Course

Many parents wonder, do I pull the tooth or do I let it fall out on it’s own? We recommend letting the tooth fall out on it’s own. There are a few reasons having the tooth fall out naturally is a better choice, such as:

Prevents Infection: Anytime your hands go into your mouth, you are at an increased risk of infection from the germs. Your hands come into contact with many things during the day, even if you wash them you still aren’t getting rid of everything you have come into contact with.

Less Risk Associated: Just because a child is wiggling and playing with a loose tooth doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ready to come out just yet. Even when the tooth appears to be loose it could still be attached to its roots and cause pain and bleeding if pulled out too soon.

More Comfortable: It is less nerve raking for most children to have the tooth fall out naturally. Being put in the hot seat having your parents or sibling trying to pull your tooth can cause fear and panic which could turn them off from all things dentistry.

Have a Plan

Being prepared for your child to lose their tooth is very important, especially if this is their first tooth. Sometimes it can be hard for kids to understand why this is happening which can leave them feeling uneasy about their oral health. It’s up to the parent to make this a fun and exciting time for everyone, here are some helpful tips:

The Tooth Fairy: Teaching your child about the tooth fairy gives them something to look forward too when they lose a tooth. This is a great tip especially for children who are afraid, a visit from the tooth fairy allows them to be excited about a situation that would otherwise cause them anxiety.

Read Books: Choosing a book that speaks to losing teeth for the first time is a great way to educate your child and leave them feeling more confident about the situation. This also allows them to ask questions and properly address their concerns. In these situations, knowledge is power!

Make it Fun: Speaking openly about the process and explaining to your child the benefits of losing their first tooth (like the cool new smile they will have) can make them more excited about the process.

Talk to Your Child

Talking to your child about this experience is the most important part. Understanding how they feel and addressing any concerns they may have will make this process a much smoother one. Here are some questions to ask your child:

Are you excited?: Using positive language will help your child understand this should be an exciting period in their life and not a scary one.

Do You Know Why Your Teeth Fall Out?: Don’t assume your child understand the process flawlessly, they could be trying to process a lot of new information all at once. Help explain to them the magic of growing older.

Do You Have Any Questions?: Being open and honest about the process will help prepare your child for when the next tooth falls out. Ask them to be open about their fears or thoughts with this experience so you can make it a positive one.

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Alberta Dental Association & College
Canadian Dental Association
Canadian Association of Orthodontists
Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Invisalign Provider
Invisalign Teen
American Association of Orthodontics
American Board of Orthodontics