Bye-bye Baby! Children and their Baby Teeth
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
It seems like not long after your little ones are finally through with teething, those precious baby teeth start to get wiggly, ready to be replaced with the teeth your children will keep for the rest of their lives. There may be a number of years between the two events, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!
Baby teeth usually fall out on their own, but if your child is surrounded by peers losing baby teeth and he still has a full mouth of the little guys, you may start to wonder what the tooth fairy timetable is.
Here’s a general guide:
Emergence of Baby Teeth:
Loss of Baby Teeth:
6 – 12 months
6 – 7 years
9 – 16 months
7 – 8 years
16 – 23 months
9 – 12 years
13 – 19 months
9 – 11 years
23 – 33 months
10 – 12 years
Don’t worry too much if your child’s teeth emerge or fall out beyond these ranges, since they’re simply averages. But do talk to your dentist if your child is significantly outside these guidelines as it may be possible to detect an oral health issue that would otherwise be missed.
When it’s time for the tooth fairy to visit, consider working some of these delightful traditions into your family routine to celebrate the milestone.
In the US, England, Canada, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand (and many other countries) children place baby teeth beneath a bed pillow, which gets traded for a few coins or small toys while they sleep.
The Tooth Mouse
In Mexico, Spain and Guatemala (among many other Spanish-speaking countries as well as France and Scotland) a mouse fairy makes the swap. In India, Korea and Vietnam children leave teeth on the roof or under the floorboards for the tooth mouse.
Japanese children throw their baby teeth to symbolize healthy growth of new teeth. Lower teeth are thrown up and upper teeth are thrown down to indicate the trajectory they want the new teeth to grow in. Children in Middle Eastern countries throw their teeth towards the sun, requesting new, better teeth the next time. Children in Botswana and Ethiopia throw their teeth on the roof hoping a mouse will come and take them, replacing the baby teeth with adult teeth as strong as those of a rodent.
Children all over Europe bury their lost teeth in an effort to encourage new teeth to grow in their place. In China baby teeth are put at the foot of the bed or on the roof, with the thought that it make new teeth come in faster.
No matter what your family tradition is when baby teeth fall out, all kids benefit from good oral hygiene throughout childhood. Make sure your children brush with soft-bristled toothbrushes and ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, floss daily and visit the dentist at least twice a year. Watch their sugar intake and do your best to keep it at a minimum. Provide a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods. These simple things will help ensure your baby’s baby teeth will stay healthy, which will naturally lead to healthy adult teeth as well.
Feel free to contact our office with any questions about the health of your child’s teeth. We’re always happy to help.
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