Bye-Bye Baby Teeth: A Loose Tooth Guide

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!. It’s been awhile since you put a tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy — what can you expect this time around? Let us refresh your memory:

• The loose tooth journey: A full set of baby teeth is generally expected by the age of 3. 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 loses the remaining baby teeth over the next few years.

• 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, crisp 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. A loose tooth can take a few months before it’s ready to leave. If your tot’s tooth is hanging by a thread, grasp the tooth firmly using a tissue. Pull upwards 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 child the Tooth Fairy favors healthy teeth, so it’s important he or she keep their smile in shape.

Your baby is growing up, so treasure all the gap-toothed memories. But don’t wait until those baby teeth are gone to visit a dentist! Kids should visit a dentist by age 1.