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When do baby teeth start to fall out?

When will my child's baby teeth start to fall out?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

There's a huge range of normal when it comes to losing baby teeth. Although most children lose their first tooth at 5 or 6, some start as young as 4, and others won't get to meet the Tooth Fairy until 7. Your child will usually be the first to know when a tooth is loose because she can feel it moving. Most kids are very proud when they have a wiggly tooth and will want to show it to you (and anyone else willing to look), so prepare yourself if you're the squeamish type. It's totally fine for your child to play with her loose tooth -- most kids love to move them around with their tongues. Just remind her to wash her hands before putting them anywhere near her mouth.

You'll probably be relieved to hear that most parents do not have to intervene and actually pull a baby tooth, since they tend to fall out naturally during a meal or while your kid is absentmindedly wiggling it. But if the permanent tooth has broken through the gum underneath, you may need to help matters along so this new tooth doesn't become damaged by the old baby tooth rubbing against it. Before pulling your child's tooth, wash your hands thoroughly and always use a clean piece of gauze to grab it (expect to see a little bit of blood). If you're not up to the task, many school nurses are happy to yank out a loose tooth if asked nicely by a nervous parent.

Copyright 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I agree with the article above except about a parent pulling the tooth themselves with a piece of guaze. As a dental assistant, I think it is a much better choice if the tooth is hurting before it falls out to have an x-ray taken and make sure that the roots of the tooth are resorbing correctly. In some instances the tooth is trapped by a root that hasn't resorbed and it can be painful. Dentistry is pretty advanced now and there is no reason for them to be in pain! Call a pediatric dentist :)
Submitted by kimberlymmunoz