What To Do If a Tooth Falls Out

Children’s Dental: What To Do if a Tooth Falls Out

by Sarah Carpenteryou and your child at West Coast Dental

Most babies get their first teeth — known as primary teeth — between 4 and 7 months old. What’s cuter than those first teeth pushing through? That adorable little grin can light up a room. By age 3, your child will usually have all of their baby teeth, and by age 6, most children start to lose their baby teeth.

Every child responds differently to losing their first tooth. Your child may feel excited about the Tooth Fairy’s first visit or they may feel nervous. You might even wonder what to do if a tooth falls all. You’re not alone. Let’s see how keeping their gums clean and managing their discomfort can help this be a positive process for your little ones.

Wiggle It (Just a Little Bit)

It’s okay to encourage your child to wiggle their loose teeth, but it’s important not to pull them out before they’re ready. If the tooth is forced out, it may create a broken root causing infection. We definitely don’t want that. If you’d like to give it a wiggle, grasp the tooth using a piece of tissue or gauze and quickly twist it to remove it.

Clean the Area

It is perfectly normal for your child’s gums to bleed after losing a tooth. So, the first thing you can do is clean the area. Use a soft or sterile gauze to wipe their gums gently. You can also have your child rinse their mouth with warm saltwater to clean out the empty socket.

Use Over-the-Counter Topical Medication

Your child may experience some pain or discomfort after their baby tooth has fallen out. An over-the-counter topical anesthetic is a fast and easy way to relieve and manage any pain they’re feeling. Remember to clean the area and wait for the bleeding to stop before applying any anesthetic ointment.

If It Still Hurts

If your child continues to experience discomfort after losing their tooth, check for a swollen socket where their baby tooth used to be. This can be caused by wiggling a loose tooth before it’s ready to fall out. You can give them a dose of children’s ibuprofen to help decrease inflammation, but be sure to contact your dentist if the swelling persists.

What Should You Do If Your Child Loses a Permanent Tooth?

If your child loses a permanent tooth, set up an emergency dental visit as soon as possible so that it can be re-implanted. Immediately after the tooth comes out, it’s important that you gently, but quickly, clean the tooth (rinse with water) and place it back into the socket. Teeth are more likely salvageable if reinserted within one hour of falling out. If a tooth cannot be re-implanted immediately, it is imperative that you save it properly to take it to the dentist. A common household item you can use to store the tooth is cold milk. Never store the tooth dry, in water, contact lens solution or yogurt.

Encourage Good Oral Care

Your child’s excitement about losing their baby teeth can be a great way to get them excited about good oral care. Inadequate care for baby teeth can affect the development of their adult teeth. So, it’s imperative to teach your child about the importance of taking care of their teeth and practicing good dental care daily. A healthy routine will help protect their teeth and reduce the risk of plaque buildup and early gingivitis

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

Make it fun for your little one to brush their teeth and floss. They should gently brush their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss or clean between their teeth at least once a day. We all know how much kids love candy and sweets. Don’t allow them to eat or drink an excess of sugar, and encourage their interest in trying healthier alternatives.

Children’s Dental at West Coast Dental

Losing the first baby tooth is a big moment for both child and parent. Your child might feel excited or even scared about losing their teeth. Developing a regular schedule and a healthy relationship with your child’s dentist can help to eliminate any fears your child may have. It can also help you provide positive reinforcement and encouragement, too. 

Find the right practitioner for you and your child at West Coast Dental. We have dentists in Van Nuys, Valencia, Orange, and more. Our specialists and general dentists are ready to serve you and your child’s dental needs, from the first Tooth Fairy visit into their adult lives. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Sarah Carpenter is a freelance writer whose portfolio spans the industries of healthcare, higher education and entertainment. Find out more at her website.


Medical News Today – Everything to Know About When a Child Loses Their First Tooth

Colgate – How to Survive The ‘Losing First Tooth’ Milestone Healthily

Cleveland Clinic – What Should I Do if My Child Loses a Permanent Tooth?

KidsHealth – Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

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