Around the age 5 or 6 most children will notice that their front teeth are getting a little wiggly. This can be an incredibly exciting moment—loosing that first baby tooth is a big step in growing up. Kids will most likely be excited and ready to pull that tooth out as soon as possible, especially if they are expecting a visit from the tooth fairy afterwards. But, the center for pediatric dentistry has advised that it is always better to let your children’s teeth fall out naturally.
Losing baby teeth is a completely natural process that will normally not require a visit to the dentist. What is happening inside your child’s gums is that the roots of the baby teeth are slowly dissolving while the adult teeth develop below, waiting to sprout up. Children should be encouraged to wiggle their baby teeth, but yanking them to hard can break roots that aren’t dissolved and leave them vulnerable to infection.
The main things to do are just encourage your child to be patient for that visit from the tooth fairy. Make sure that they continue brushing twice daily as well as flossing. Sometimes eating an apple or other crunchy food might help to loosen the tooth, but if your child is complaining of pain, stick to soft foods. However, make sure their diet stays healthy and light on the sugars—even if the tooth won’t be around that much longer, it’s no reason to risk a cavity or other issue.
Some discomfort and irritation is normal, and can usually be treated with the proper dosage of an over the counter children’s pain medication. Gums might be swollen or red in color for some time, but call your pediatric dentist if you suspect there might be infection, or something wrong with the way the permanent tooth is growing in.