How to Handle a Loose Tooth

You’re used to all things creepy and crawly this time of year, but what about wiggly? Kids start losing their baby teeth around age 6, roughly in the same order they came in.1 The last permanent teeth (other than wisdom teeth) usually arrive by age 12 or 132, so that’s a lot of years of wiggly, jiggly teeth. Here are a few things to remember when your kids start getting gap-toothed grins.

Wiggle away!
Kids love to twist and turn loose teeth, and it’s perfectly fine to let them. Wiggling is harmless – and can feel pretty funky and fun to a kid who hasn’t experienced it before!

Know when to step in – and when to step off.
If the tooth is only slightly loose, don’t intervene. The tooth root needs more time to dissolve, and forcing it could be painful and harmful. If a tooth is very loose but won’t come out, it may be time to intervene. Using a tissue or a piece of gauze, grasp the tooth firmly and give it a quick twist, which is better than pulling. Don’t worry if it bleeds a bit afterward – just have your child bite on a moist piece of gauze for a few minutes. If the tooth still refuses to come out and you are worried that it might get swallowed, contact your child’s dentist.2

Crunch a bunch!
Giving your kids crisp, crunchy snacks, such as carrots and apples, may encourage a loose tooth to come out. These fruits and vegetables are healthy and helpful!3

Don’t forget to prepare for the Tooth Fairy.
When that teetering tooth finally topples, make sure your child writes the Tooth Fairy a note and leaves the baby tooth in a special spot that’s easy for her to find. There are many other fun ways to prepare for the Tooth Fairy’s visit, from personalized pillows to crafting a tiny door to assist with her entrance. To help your child get excited to “meet” the Tooth Fairy, visit ddwi.toothfairyactivities.com for fun online quizzes and activity sheets that can be printed.

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD204
2 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,delta133
3 http://www.pinterest.com/OrigToothFairy/to-wiggle-or-not-to-wiggle/


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