Children lose their milk teeth when they're about six or seven years old, a natural milestone in their oral development. But beyond the initial excitement and tooth fairy folklore, lies a lot of confusion and pandemonium.
It's normal to feel unprepared when your child's tooth gets loose. Impulsively, you'll want to pull it out, but this may not be such a good idea. Not only is doing so extremely painful, but it can also damage the root, resulting in infection.
So what can you do as a parent to help your child through this process? Here are 7 tips that will ensure your little one feels comfortable with their loose tooth:
Some parents can't stand the sight of their children wiggling their loose teeth. The thought of them swallowing the tooth when it comes off drives overprotective parents crazy. However, letting them wiggle the loose tooth is a crucial part of the process.
Wiggling allows the ligament to stretch slowly, allowing the tooth to come out naturally and seamlessly. It also helps them mentally prepare and eases them into the idea that their tooth will eventually come out.
Proper oral hygiene is especially important when your child has a loose tooth. Ensure they brush their teeth and floss daily to reduce the risk of infection. Instruct them to brush gently around the loose tooth and ensure they use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging their sensitive gums.
Hard foods like apples, carrots, and corn can cause pressure and result in pain, so avoid giving your child these foods. Alternatively, you can give them softer foods like mashed potatoes or smoothies that won't disrupt their loose tooth.
Help your child forget the discomfort of having a loose tooth by engaging them in fun activities and games. Try telling them stories, playing board games, or painting together. These activities will help take their minds off of the discomfort and also help pass the time until the tooth falls out naturally.
Professional advice from a dentist can be extremely helpful during this process. A dentist can determine if your child's teeth are ready to come out and provide tips on making the whole experience easier. They can help ease the anxiety of having a loose tooth and guide proper oral hygiene after it falls out.
Losing a tooth is an exciting but difficult experience for children. As their parents, it's important to be supportive and help them through the process. Remember to enforce good oral hygiene and distract them with fun activities to make this milestone easier for your child.
And above all else, don't forget to visit the dentist if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the process.