Your child's tooth-loss timeline

Learn more about what to expect with your little one's pearly whites!

Tooth-loss in children is a normal phenomenon. While there are some children who are scared of a loose tooth, most kids are excited to get a visit from the tooth fairy. There's usually a timeline that your child will follow when it comes to losing their teeth -- make sure to be prepared!

First tooth-loss in children

First tooth-loss varies per child. Some children lose their first ones as soon as they turn 4 years old while others don’t feel their milk teeth loosening before the age of 7.

Typically, tooth-loss in children begins by the elimination of the lower centre teeth. These incisors are the first to go since they were the first ones to erupt.

Second round

By the time a child turns 5 years old, the top centre pair of milk teeth will soon start to loosen and fall out. Your child will probably want to roll their tongue over the newly soft, open spots where the fallen teeth once used to be.

Final round

Tooth-loss in children usually ends by the time they turn 8 to 13 years old. At this point, all permanent teeth (except some molars) most likely will be out and all milk teeth should be gone. Congratulations, your child is moving up to the next level when it comes to growing up!

Tooth removal

Tooth-loss in children isn’t really painful. It can be annoying but should not be overly painful. While some doctors might prescribe pain relievers, cold compresses are equally effective as well.

When encountering a loose tooth, encourage your children to gently wiggle and wobble it from time to time. If the tooth is extra loose, doing a slight rotating motion helps remove the tooth gradually. As long as their hands are clean, constant movement of that tooth is not an issue.

Tell your children to never yank their loose tooth as it could damage a nerve or break the tooth’s root. Remind them that the tooth will just fall out when it is ready. A visit to the doctor for a regular tooth removal isn’t really necessary, except for a really stubborn loose tooth that refuses to come out for weeks.

Caring for new teeth

After dealing with tooth-loss in children, caring for the permanent teeth should be of the utmost concern. Semi-annual visits to the dentist should be scheduled and proper brushing should be implemented. Brushing of teeth should be done at least twice a day and should last for more than a minute.

Make sure that your children use fluoride toothpaste and floss. This will prevent tooth decay and gum disease from forming. Early and firm implementation of oral hygiene is important to ensure that the habit will continue until the child turns into an adult.

Another way of caring for new teeth after tooth-loss in children is avoiding acidic drinks and sweets. Removal of these food items in your child’s diet can make a difference in preventing tooth damage.

How did you handle your children losing their teeth? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment. In case your child losses a permanent tooth by accident, watch this video: