what to do when child loses first tooth

What to Do When Your Child Loses Their First Tooth

Your child’s first visit from the tooth fairy is an exciting milestone! However, it’s normal to feel a little nervous or unprepared when your child loses their first baby tooth. At Lifetime Family Dental, we’re happy to answer your questions and help you prepare for your child’s first tooth falling out. Continue reading to learn all about what to expect and what to do when your child loses their first tooth.

At What Age Does a Child’s First Tooth Fall Out?

Children tend to lose their baby teeth in the same order they grew in, typically between the ages of four and seven. However, children can lose baby teeth prematurely due to tooth decay or injury. If your child loses a tooth before they turn four, it’s best to save the tooth and consult your dentist. Reimplantation may be possible if the baby tooth that fell out still has the root attached. 

What Should You Do When Your Child Loses Their First Tooth?

1: Clean the Area

Don’t panic if you notice your child’s gums bleeding from the empty socket. Stay calm and clean the area—a little bleeding after a tooth falls out is perfectly normal. Gently wipe your child’s gums with sterile gauze to prevent a bad taste and reduce the risk of infection. 

2: Relieve Pain and Swelling

If your child experiences any pain after losing a tooth, you can apply an over-the-counter topical anesthetic to their gums. Just make sure to wait until any bleeding stops before you apply the anesthetic. 

Swelling might occur if the tooth was wiggled and loosened before it was ready to come out. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water and hold it to your child’s gums if you notice swelling. If any pain, swelling, or bleeding persists, contact your dentist. 

3: Avoid Pulling Loose Teeth

While it may be tempting to pull out your child’s loose tooth, waiting for it to fall out naturally is a much safer choice. Pulling out a tooth increases your child’s risk of infection from germs on your hands coming into contact with their mouth. It’s also a good idea to discourage your child from wiggling the tooth loose with their own hands for the same reason. 

Pulling out a tooth too soon can also cause more pain and bleeding than normal, especially while the tooth is still attached to its roots. When your child’s baby tooth does fall out on its own, quickly place it in a small bag or container to avoid losing it before the tooth fairy arrives.

4: Continue to Encourage Good Oral Hygiene

Failing to care for baby teeth can cause them to fall out prematurely or affect the development of your child’s permanent teeth. Make sure that your child understands the importance of proper, frequent brushing and flossing. Helping your child pick out their own toothbrush is a good way to motivate them to clean their teeth twice a day.

5: Talk to Your Child

When your child loses their first tooth, they may be very excited or quite nervous. Ask how your child feels about losing their first tooth and use positive language to reassure them that this is an exciting experience. It can also help to explain to your child why their teeth fall out and how taking care of their baby teeth helps them grow strong adult teeth. 

What Can Your Child Eat after Losing a Tooth?

When your child has loose or missing teeth, it may be difficult for them to eat certain foods for a period of time. Soft foods like smoothies, yogurt, and applesauce are more comfortable to eat if your child is feeling any soreness from the lost tooth. Sucking on an ice pop can also help reduce pain and swelling after your child’s tooth first falls out.

Family Dentist in Gilbert

If your child hasn’t been to the dentist yet, or is due for another visit, their first tooth falling out is a good time to schedule an appointment. Regular visits to the dentist along with good oral hygiene habits help your child maintain strong baby teeth and grow healthy permanent teeth. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona, we provide gentle cleanings and exams for the whole family. Call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment for your child.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/17/2021). Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash