Why Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Most parents will eventually hear their children exclaim that they have a wiggly tooth. Just like the initial eruption of your little one’s baby teeth, the presentation of a wiggly tooth can be quite exciting. Nevertheless, you may not know why your child has to lose his or her baby teeth at all.

Why do baby teeth fall out?

Baby teeth must eventually be lost to make room for the eruption of your child’s permanent teeth. Once the shedding process begins, it will continue until your child is a teen or young adult. The wisdom teeth, which are the third molars in the oral cavity, are the final teeth to erupt, and they don’t present until the late teens or early adulthood.

What is the shedding order?

The first two teeth to present in your little one’s mouth are typically the two teeth that rest in the center of your child’s lower palate. These central incisors also tend to be the first teeth to be lost. They are usually followed by the two teeth in the center of your child’s upper palate. If your child’s teeth follow the natural shedding order, he or she will probably lose teeth in the same order in which they came in.

What forces a baby tooth out?

A baby tooth does not usually become loose until the underlying permanent tooth grows enough to start to force the primary tooth out. Thus, you’re likely to notice bits of a permanent tooth peeking through the gums at the site where a primary tooth was lost.

Are there other reasons that a baby tooth can be lost?

Some children do lose their baby teeth before their permanent teeth are ready to present. This is often due to trauma or an oral disease. If your child does lose his or her baby teeth too early, your little one’s dentist can place a customized plastic spacer in place to reserve the proper positioning of the adult tooth that will eventually emerge. The spacer can help prevent problems with dental misalignment that can occur when there is insufficient space for an adult tooth to emerge in proper alignment.

When can you expect your child to lose the first tooth?

Although your child was probably only a couple of months old when the first baby teeth erupted, your little one will probably not lose the first tooth until he or she reaches about four to seven years of age. Just as the order of presentation affects the order in which the teeth will be lost, the age at which a child’s teeth first appear may affect how soon the pearly whites fall out. Children whose teeth present earlier tend to lose their first teeth sooner. Still, your little one is unlikely to lose a tooth before the age of four. If you are noticing wiggly teeth and your child is still in toddlerhood, it is best to schedule a dental appointment to ensure that there are not any problems.

Can you help a wiggly tooth detach more quickly?

You may have heard of different ways to help a wiggly tooth fall out more quickly. It’s best to avoid old home remedies, such as tying a piece of string around the tooth and attaching the other end to a door that can be quickly shut. Instead, you can encourage a tooth to progressively loosen by having your child brush his or her teeth more frequently. In addition, you can offer your little one healthy snacks, such as apples, which encourage your child to chew vigorously.

It is important to keep in mind that a tooth that is pulled from its place before it should fall out naturally can increase the likelihood of a dental infection. If you are concerned that a tooth is not falling out as quickly as it should, consult with a pediatric dentist. In rare instances, a loose tooth may stubbornly remain in place and could need to be extracted.

How should oral discomfort from shedding teeth be handled?

Many children experience a bit of discomfort during the teeth-shedding process. You can often alleviate the pain by offering your youngster over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are also oral analgesic gels that can be applied directly to the area of discomfort.

If your child seems to be in a great deal of pain or if you have additional concerns about the shedding of your little one’s baby teeth, contact our office to schedule a visit.