How to Take Care of a Child Losing Their First Tooth

Losing a first tooth can be both an exciting and apprehensive time for children. It normally happens at around six or seven years old; depending on when they began teething. They anticipate the time when the wobbly tooth falls out and receive their first visit from the "tooth fairy." It’s a big step towards growing up, yet the idea of losing a tooth---and any pain or blood associated with it---often fills them with a little anxiety. This is perfectly normal for the first tooth, and the subsequent teeth to fall out will be much less worrisome.


    • 1

      Calm her fears by expressing your excitement at the upcoming visit from the tooth fairy. This mythical figure has been helping children cope with losing their teeth for generations. Try adding her initials to a small pouch to put her tooth in when it falls out, which she can put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. This will make it even more special for her, and the pouch will help the tooth to stay in place under the pillow.

    • 2

      Leave some money, or a small gift, under the pillow from the tooth fairy when his tooth does fall out. Explain that the tooth fairy will not always leave the same amount, but that this time is extra-special, as it’s his first tooth.

    • 3

      Reassure her that it’s totally normal and that this is a natural progression towards growing up. She may be concerned that she will look different from the other children in her class. Let her know that it is usual for girls to lose their first teeth a little earlier than boys and that soon everyone will look the same. Encourage her to be proud of the gap she will have. The adult tooth will already be waiting to come in its place, so let her know that she will not have a gap for too long.

    • 4

      Let the tooth fall out naturally. Although wiggling it with his tongue will be an instinctive reaction, encourage him to not pull at his tooth. This can cause a lot more pain and bleeding than if it falls out on its own accord.

    • 5

      Give him a small amount of over-the-counter pain medication if he has any gum tenderness. Most children will not have any pain, but it's okay to give a small amount if he is in any discomfort. You don’t want him to associate each time a tooth is loose with pain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure your child visits the dentist regularly. He can give you both advice on dental hygiene and how to treat any loose teeth.
  • The teeth are most likely to come out in the order that they arrived---the bottom middle two being the most common. So keep an eye out for one of these to be loose first.
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  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

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