If your child has a loose tooth, it’s usually not something to be worried about. For children aged 6 to 12, it’s often a sign that their permanent teeth have begun to surface. At this stage, the roots of their primary teeth naturally begin to slowly disintegrate, making them more prone to falling out (and eventually doing just that). While this natural stage of tooth development is the reason for a child’s loose tooth most of the time, loose teeth might be a symptom of a deeper problem and require a visit with a pediatric dentist. That said, what should you know about your child’s loose tooth?
Is Your Child’s Loose Tooth Normal?
To decide this, it’s important to take note of what type of tooth is loose. If it’s a baby tooth, chances are, it’s part of their normal, healthy development. If it’s a permanent tooth, however, that’s a whole different ball game. Loose permanent teeth could signal anything from dental trauma to periodontal disease and will need immediate dental care. However, this doesn’t mean baby teeth are out of the woods, either—if your child’s teeth turn loose earlier than expected, get that checked out as well.
What, then should you look for? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should know about your child’s loose tooth:
Teeth usually fall out the way they emerge
One way to determine whether the loose tooth is just part of your child’s development is knowing which tooth in particular is loose. Your children’s teeth usually appear from front to back, starting with the bottom front teeth. Permanent teeth develop in the same way. If your child’s tooth is loose, then, check whether the loose tooth follows the pattern of emergence. If a tooth comes loose out of order, head to your child’s pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
Children whose teeth erupt earlier will lose them earlier as well
Typically, your child sheds their teeth by age 6. However, don’t be alarmed if they lose them prior. If your child grew their teeth at an early age, expect them to shed early as well. There are, however, a few caveats. For one, if your child’s teeth didn’t erupt earlier than expected, but they have begun losing their teeth early, this might be a warning sign. And if your children’s permanent teeth do not grow long after their baby teeth shed, you might need to see a pediatric dentist.
Keep a lookout for several loose teeth
When your child loses their baby teeth, it often happens one tooth at a time. When several teeth loosen up at once (usually more than two at a time), however, it might be a sign of a bigger problem. This loosening can mean a problem with the jawbone. In extreme cases, it might even mean cancer. That said, be sure to get your child checked as soon as possible.
If your child clenches or grinds their teeth too hard, they can loosen permanent teeth
A series of factors can cause loose permanent teeth, all of which should be a cause for concern. Some of these, however, are more surprising than you think. If your child, for instance, has a penchant for grinding or clenching their teeth too hard, the teeth loosen because they can no longer handle the pressure. If this is the case, your child’s pediatric dentist may suggest a mouth guard or splint to correct these behaviors.