Tips For Helping Your Child Deal With Losing Baby Teeth

Even with the tooth fairy promising a few dollars for every lost tooth, losing baby teeth can be a bit of a traumatic experience—both for kids and for their parents. Follow these tips to help the both of you deal with this necessary phase of life safely, effectively, and in an emotionally balanced way.

Keep a topical anesthetic gel around

There will be times when a loose tooth—or the gums around one that has just fallen out—are painful. Rather than deal with a crying child, dab a little numbing gel, such as Orajel, on the area. The gel may tingle a bit, but it should alleviate your child's discomfort and you can re-apply it as often as is needed.

Don't pull the tooth out

Your child may have seen TV shows and movies where kids rip their somewhat-loose teeth out to "get it over with." Make sure your child knows this is a bad idea. Ripping a tooth out before it is loose enough can cause more bleeding and tears in the gums. Let your child know it's okay to gently wiggle the tooth if he or she wants (as long as their hands are clean), but tell them not to apply so much pressure that it's painful. When the tooth is ready to come out, it will fall out basically on its own.

Don't worry if your child swallows a tooth

This is many parents' biggest concern, and your child may panic if they swallow a tooth, too. Don't worry, though, it will pass right through! Reassure your child they the tooth fairy knows they lost it and will leave them their prize even if the tooth isn't under the pillow. If needed, you can tell a little white lie and assure your child that the same thing happened to you when you were little and that the tooth fairy still came.

Don't panic if the adult tooth does not appear right away

Sometimes the adult tooth may pop up before the baby tooth even comes in. Other times, it may not poke through the gums until a few weeks after the baby tooth is lost. Both scenarios are normal, so don't panic if your child's adult teeth don't all erupt on the same timeline.

If you have any additional concerns about your child losing their baby teeth, talk to your dentist (like those at Pine Lake Dental Group). You can ask questions without your child in the room if you think discussing this matter may make your child distressed or nervous.