Tuesday, 17 September 2013

When does your child start losing their baby teeth?

Sebastian lost his fourth baby tooth (right lateral incisor) last night. It was quite a scare since it came off while he was asleep and mummy practically freaked out because she was afraid that Sebastian will swallow his tooth. We had to wake him up and you know how hard it is to wake a child that just dozed off. He was struggling all the while we tried to prop him forward in fear that he will swallow his tooth. What prompted us to check on his tooth?

Let us go back to evening. Sebastian was playing with his already loosed tooth (right lateral incisor) but he refused to let me "help" him to remove it. Me and wife have no other choice but to ask him to play and twist his tooth until it falls off on its own. Sebastian told me that he can feel slight pain and there was some blood. So I gave him some ice in hope that it will numb his gums and he will pull out his tooth with a little force.

But then it was already quite late and he fell asleep on the sofa. When we tried to move him, that was the moment that we saw blood in his mouth and the tooth is not at its place. This is the moment when mummy started to panic and tried to wake him up.

The funny things is that, he is one of the first to lose his baby teeth amongst his friends of the same age group and we gets comment that Sebastian lose his baby teeth at quite an early stage. Moreover, this is his fourth baby tooth that he is losing.

Sebastian first lost his right bottom central incisor at around the age of 4 years. We had to bring him to the dentist since his permanent tooth is already protruding from his gums. That was his first ever tooth extraction and it was not a very good experience for him. The dentist only applied some cooling substance and pulled out the loose tooth by hand. We can hear the tooth break and he was all tears in pain. He was a brave boy as he held back his tears and a promise of ice-cream comforted him.

His left bottom central incisor tooth was also loose at that time but since the permanent tooth is still not visible, we decided that it is enough for a day and we will just wait and see. If memory still persists, his second tooth came off around a week or two later. And it came off when he was dancing the Gangnam Style ... LOL.

Sebastian lost his third tooth, left lateral incisor, two months back. We had to bring him to the dentist again since his tooth is not loose enough to fall off on its own and his permanent tooth has already grown out. Back to the same dental clinic but this time it was a different dentist. With memories to his first visit, he refused to enter and I had to hug him tight on the dentist chair since he was struggling. I have to give credit to this dentist. She was fast and she sprayed something to numb his gums. With a swift action, she pulled out the loose tooth with some dental equipment.

Moral of the story is to find a good experience dentist for your child's first dental visit. Apart from that, do not delay in tooth extraction once the permanent tooth is visible. Sebastian was too late in extracting his third tooth and his permanent tooth as informed by the dentist will be crooked. Well, no choice and he has to wear a braces next time.

So when does children starts losing their baby teeth. According to the diagram above, children starts to lose their baby teeth at the age of 6. So, Sebastian is indeed losing his baby teeth earlier. Baby teeth usually fall out in the order in which they grow out. First the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors), followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors), the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and second molars.

Now that Sebastian has lost some of his baby teeth, we starts to instil the importance of dental care into him. Examples of dental care for your child:
  • Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. 
  • Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime — especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for your child, either with your family dentist or a paediatric dentist.
  • Ask the dentist about use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.
With proper care, our child's permanent teeth last a lifetime.

(Source: Mayoclinic)

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