Children respond differently to losing their first tooth — some may feel anxious about it, while others may be looking forward to a visit from the tooth fairy. Regardless of how your child feels about the event, it’s important to make the process as easy and as painless for them as possible. You can ensure that everything goes smoothly by visiting a kid’s dentist at the onset of a loose tooth, but the following are also some things you can do to help your child out too.
It’s understandable to feel nervous when your child loses their first tooth but it’s important to keep a cool head in front of them. Your anxiety can scare your child who might otherwise not feel anxious about what’s happening. Treating the situation as normal as possible will reassure your child that there’s nothing to worry about, and they subsequently won’t feel nervous the next time it happens.
Wipe down gums
Keep the area clean and sterilized when the tooth pops out by wiping down the gums with a sterile cloth. It’s also important to have your child gently rinse their mouth out with warm salt water for the next few hours to keep the area free from bacteria. They can brush their teeth after a few hours, but make sure they don’t brush so hard that they dislodge the scab that protects the wound.
Place the tooth in a bag
The tooth fairy myth is a way to help your child feel more at ease about losing a tooth. If they believe in it, it’s important to keep the tooth secure for the “tooth fairy” so you don’t lose it. As soon as the tooth is removed, place it in a Ziploc bag and store it in a safe place.
Apply a topical anesthetic
When your child first notices a loose tooth, head down to the pharmacy and purchase a tube of over-the-counter topical anesthetic. It’s good to have this on hand just in case their tooth falls out, and they experience soreness or pain. You can immediately soothe their discomfort and make the experience more bearable for them. Applying a cold compress on the cheek or taking children’s Tylenol can also help with the pain.
Keep them away from straws or hot beverages
Help your child heal faster by preventing them from spitting, making “sucking” motions (like drinking from a straw), and drinking hot beverages. This can dislodge the natural blood clot that forms on the wound which helps it to heal. In the meantime, keep them away from straws and hot soups and drinks. Placing a warm tea bag on the area can help prevent them from spitting.
Maintain good oral health
It might be a little uncomfortable for the first few days, but it’s necessary for your child to maintain good oral health as they normally would. They need to continue brushing their teeth including the empty socket, gargling with salt water, and flossing to keep the mouth area free from bacteria. Make sure they avoid eating too many sugary drinks and snacks and refrain from touching the affected area.
Losing a tooth can be a scary and unfamiliar experience for some children, but you can make the experience a little less intimidating for your child by keeping these tips in mind in the event that they lose their first tooth.