You’ve navigated through the treacherous waters of teething and now your child has a mouthful of teeth – only for them to start coming out sometime between the ages of 5 and 10, sometimes even later. So, what gives? We all know that baby teeth fall out before adult teeth come in to make room for their permanent set, but what can you do to ensure your child’s dental health during this time?

Read on to learn the ins and outs of baby tooth loss. It will make the whole ordeal a bit less mystifying when it happens to your child.

How Are Baby Teeth Lost?

Baby teeth, most often, come loose and fall out due to the adult tooth growing into place and forcing it out. This happens between the ages of five and ten or so, with some children not losing their final baby tooth until their teen years. This is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is when teeth come out prematurely due to improper dental care.

Unfortunately, some parents forego adequate dental care for their children because they think it’s not as important as caring for adult teeth. This can lead to gum disease and other problems, just as it can for those with a mouthful of permanent teeth. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene to ensure that teeth aren’t lost prematurely, and gums don’t sustain damage from disease.

Sometimes, baby teeth are lost through an accident. This is still a premature loss and should be addressed by a dentist as well, just to be safe.

Should I Pull a Loose Baby Tooth Out?

It may be your, or your child’s, inclination to yank out a loose baby tooth. This should be avoided as to prevent additional trauma being inflicted on the already-sore gums. Remember that gum health is just as important as tooth health in oral care, so it’s best to minimize the irritation and let the tooth fall out on its own.

What do I do When the Baby Teeth Start Going?

Once a baby tooth is lost, it will take some time for the permanent adult tooth to come in. In the meantime, you can expect other baby teeth to fall away. Just do what you should have been doing in the first place: Get your child routine dental check-ups and practice good dental hygiene at home.