Your child reaches a pretty significant milestone when they lose their first baby teeth. Your baby will start getting their first’ wiggly teeth’ around the age of five.

The baby teeth have to fall to make room for the permanent teeth to erupt – a process that continues until the final molars are in.

It generally takes a few months from the time a tooth becomes loose until it falls out.

During this time, your child may be full of questions and apprehensions about losing their first tooth.

Though this process is thankfully not painless, as a parent, you may need to put your child’s mind at ease and make this process memorable for your child.

Continue on this article to know what to expect when your child starts losing their baby teeth.

When do baby teeth start falling?

The following chart shows when your child’s primary or ‘milk teeth’ should erupt and shed:

Upper teethErupt Shed
Central incisor

Lateral incisor

Canines

First Molar

Second Molar

8-12 months

9-13 months

16-22 months

13-19 months

25-33 months

6-7 years

7-8 years

10-12 years

9-11 years

10-12 years

Lower teethErupt Shed
Second Molar

First Molar

Canines

Lateral incisor

Central incisor

23-31 months

14-18 months

17-23 months

10-16 months

6-10 months

10-12 years

9-11 years

9-12 years

7-8 years

6-7 years

Why does the baby tooth become loose?

The roots of the baby teeth hold the baby teeth in place and help guide adult teeth to grow in the correct space.

When the permanent tooth starts growing out of the gums, the new tooth breaks down the roots of the baby tooth, causing it to loosen and fall out.

However, sometimes a child’s permanent tooth will come in behind the child’s baby tooth.

When this happens, the child should be taken to the dentist to have the baby tooth removed.

What to expect when baby teeth become loose?

When your baby’s first tooth becomes loose, you should let nature take its course and let the tooth fall on its own.

But sometimes you may need to keep certain things in mind to guide your child through this process.

  • You should encourage your child to wiggle the loose tooth with his tongue as much as possible. The more he wiggles it, the sooner it will fall out.
  • When a baby tooth falls out, the permanent tooth is usually underneath the gums, waiting to erupt. The permanent teeth will have ridges on the biting edges, which smoothens with age.
  • You may notice that the newly erupted permanent tooth is slightly less white than his baby teeth.
  • The new permanent teeth may look a little too big for your child’s face, but it will correct on its own as your child’s head grows.
  • You should visit a dentist since the first baby tooth appears, to prepare your child.
  • It is never recommended to tie a floss or string around a loose tooth to pull it out.
  • If there’s bleeding after a tooth falls, have your child rinse with some warm water.
  • Once a tooth falls, encourage your child to maintain regular brushing and flossing.
  • If you need to get the tooth out on your own, you should remove it with clean fingers or moistened gauze.
  • The area after a tooth falls out may appear irritated for a day or two. Ask your child to brush that area gently for a day or two.
  • In some rare cases, a couple of new teeth come in before the old ones are gone, creating two rows of pearly whites. This is a primary stage and is known as ‘shark’s teeth.’
  • The gums may look swollen after the baby tooth falls, because of the newly erupted permanent tooth. Some kids may complain that it hurts and acetaminophen, ibuprofen or topical analgesics can help ease the discomfort.
  • Reassure your child that it’s perfectly normal if their baby teeth fall out later than others.
  • Stress the importance of avoiding soda and other foods and beverages that can damage the newly erupting permanent teeth.
  • You should help your child attain proper nutrition even though the missing baby teeth may make it difficult for your child to chew and reject foods.
  • If your child doesn’t lose their first tooth by the age of seven, you should visit a dentist or orthodontist to prevent crowding of teeth.

Conclusion

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for kids and makes them feel like they’re indeed growing up.

Your child will start to lose their baby teeth by the age of five years. Some children, however, start losing their baby teeth later and that’s perfectly normal.

This can be a fascinating time for your child, and it may be helpful to you to have a few useful tips to help your child through this process.

The loss of baby teeth happens over a long period, and it’s essential that you maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental visits for your child.

Your child may receive preventive treatments like scaling and polishing the teeth and fluoride application.

This provides a lifetime of chewing, speaking and smiling with their permanent teeth.