If you've always been a bit squeamish when it comes to teeth and dental issues, you may greet your child's first loose tooth not with excitement, but dread. This dread can be compounded even further if the natural process of shedding one's baby teeth is impeded by other dental issues, like impacted teeth or too-narrow gums. How do you know whether your child's tooth-loss experience is normal and healthy? Read on to learn more about the mechanics of this process, as well as when you'll need to make a regular (or emergency) dental appointment to evaluate your child's teeth.
What does "normal" baby tooth loss look like?
Much of the timing of a child's loss of baby teeth is genetic, and tremendous variances exist within the spectrum of "normal" – so if you and your spouse (or your parents) are able to remember the circumstances under which each of you lost most of your baby teeth, you'll have a better yardstick as to whether your child's tooth loss is typical. However, in many cases, several baby teeth (or more) may be lost in quick succession; as long as your child isn't in any pain and is able to use his or her remaining teeth to chew harder foods, there should be no cause for concern.
When should your child see a dentist after his or her teeth become loose?
Unless your child is dealing with pain or other discomfort, it's usually not necessary to visit the dentist before a baby tooth has fallen out. However, if your child hasn't been to the dentist recently, it may be a good idea for dental X-rays to be taken to ensure that the permanent teeth are properly lined up and ready to deploy as soon as the baby teeth are out of the way. Allowing your child's dentist to review these X-rays can give him or her the information needed to make any necessary interventions that can improve your child's smile or reduce his or her need for braces or other corrective devices in the future.
You'll also want to head to an emergency dentist (or an urgent care facility) if your child experiences bleeding from the tooth site that doesn't clot itself within a few minutes. In most cases, a simple cauterization is enough to stop the bleeding for good, but an emergency dentist will be in the best position to evaluate the cause of the bleeding and take any necessary corrective action. For more information, contact local professionals like Milan Simanek DDS.Share