From first wiggles to gap-toothed giggles, losing teeth is a mouth’s coming-of-age story. Baby teeth falling out means your little one is growing up (*cue the tears*). It’s been a while since you put a tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy — what can you expect the second time around? Let us refresh your memory:
• The loose tooth journey: Three’s a charm when it comes to the age you should expect to see that full set of baby teeth. Early teethers tend to be early losers, but it’s impossible to pinpoint exact age. Usually the first tooth will fall out around age 6. Your child’s mouth then channels Benjamin Button, losing the remaining baby teeth over the next few years. Fortunately, permanent teeth will fill in the gaps.
• Loose-tooth food choices: To cut down on pain and wiggle time, serve soups, puréed veggies, and other foods that require minimal chewing. Soft foods are a staple, but healthy, hard munchies can help, too! Apples and pears are perfect picks for newly loose teeth. They gently aid in loosening the tooth, while promoting healthy bodies and smiles.
• When a loose tooth lingers: Give it time. Just as a baby bird flees its nest, a loose tooth takes a few months before it’s ready to leave. And yanking a tooth before it’s ready will only regress your child’s dental health. However, if your tot’s tooth is hanging by a thread, don’t use a drone to pull it out! Using a tissue, grasp the tooth firmly. Pull upward and give it a sharp twist. Don’t panic when you see blood — a little bleeding in the area is normal.
• From loose tooth to celebration: Once the tooth falls out, the fairy flies in! Teach your kids about Tooth Fairy traditions and celebrate accordingly. Need a gift guideline? The current rate for a tooth is $4.36, according to the National Tooth Fairy Poll. Tell your children the Tooth Fairy favors healthy teeth, so it’s important they keep their smiles in shape. Download this brushing and flossing chart to keep kids extra-motivated.
Your baby is growing up, so remember to treasure all the gap-toothed memories!