The Loose Tooth: Tips from “Ask the Dentist”

“Mommy, my toof is loofse.”

This happens for the first time around the age of five or during kindergarten. It is also usually the first to lower front teeth that will be the wiggly start of a grade school journey.

When this happens for the very first time, it can be scary for a child. It is great to prepare him or her as the initial mobility is noticed. As the tooth becomes increasingly mobile, the parent wants to guide and direct the child’s diet to softer foods while the tooth gradually loosens itself from the surrounding supporting bone. As the tooth enters the final stage of eruption or exfoliation, it is only supported by soft tissue or the gum tissue around it. This is the time we encourage the child to “wiggle the tooth.”

At home, parents may help aid this process by “very scientific aids” … a cotton swab and Oragel! If you coat the tooth with this anesthetic/numbing ointment, then you can rub the q-tip back and forth along the gum line of the tooth and when ready, it “rubs” right out. I have done this for all of my daughters’ teeth and many friends and family members as well. It’s not difficult, it is just timing, when the tooth is ready it will come out.

There are situations and conditions where it is appropriate for a dentist to intervene and remove baby teeth. For example, heavy crowding doesn’t allow room for the permanent teeth to come into correct alignment, etc.

The last of the baby teeth (or primary teeth as we dentists call them,) happens in the preteen years. The baby molars are the last teeth to be replaced by the adult premolar teeth. What many parents learn at their child’s dental visit is that the 6-year-old permanent molar erupts in back of all 20 of the baby teeth in a brand new place.

The permanent molars do not replace baby teeth, they actually increase the arch span. It is very important to have the child’s dentition checked on a regular basis to ensure proper positioning, health of mouth and supporting tissues, cavities, etc.

Tooth fairy reports are always welcome! We love to hear what she has been up to!  Post below or email us at Springfield Moms.

Submitted by Springfield Moms sponsor Tanya L. DeSanto, DDS.  She is also the immediate past president of the GV Black District Dental Society.  More information on her practice and a coupon can be found on our Mom’s Choice Directory.



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