Why Do Milk Teeth Fall Out Of It’s Root?
So why do baby have their milk teeth fall out, anyway? It turns out that those baby teeth act as placeholders, creating space in the jaw for future, permanent teeth.
For most children, their milk teeth begin to fall out around the age of 6. Of course, all of the teeth don’t fall out at one time!
When a permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the root of a baby tooth or milk tooth begins to dissolve until it’s completely gone. At that point, the tooth is “loose” and only held in place by the surrounding gum tissue.
Why Do Milk Teeth Fall Out?
Losing your first baby tooth is an important part of growing up.
We need teeth to bite, slurp and chew so that we can enjoy a healthy diet with lots of different types of food. Teeth also help us speak and pronounce complex words.
They help grow our jaws and face and, of course, our teeth help us smile.
Because of how much we need them, teeth start growing before we are born.
At first we don’t see them, because they grow in our jaws, under our gums. But by the time we are about six months old, we will be able to see the first teeth appear.
Teeth stay in the mouth because, like trees, they have roots that hold them in our jaws.
The roots of the teeth are usually long and smooth. The front teeth usually have only one root, but the back teeth can have as many as three roots.
When the time comes, special cells appear in our body that slowly eat away at the roots of the teeth. As the roots are shortened, the teeth begin to loosen. Finally, most of the root disappears and the tooth falls out!
Soon after, the new adult tooth will begin to peek through the gap left by the baby tooth.
Adult teeth may look a little funny at the beginning – they usually turn a little yellow, may have bumps and grooves, and of course, a lot more.
They also have much longer roots. Adult teeth are made so that they are strong enough to last our entire life. You will be chewing food for many, many decades to come. This is too much food to chew!
Brief Facts About Eruption Of Milk Teeth
Other milk teeth eruption facts:
- A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
- Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
- Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
- Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs — one on the right and one on the left.
- Milk teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
- By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.
Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both primary teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth.
What should parents do when they notice a loose tooth?
The sensation of a loose tooth will be new for your child. While they may be inclined to avoid brushing the area because it feels odd, this not recommended as the area still needs cleaning.
Even though that tooth is going to fall out, a lack of brushing can lead to gum inflammation or issues with the neighboring teeth that may not be getting the brushing they require.
Conversely, make sure your child is not brushing too rigorously in the area of their loose tooth, or the gap left behind once it has fallen out, as it can cause irritation of the gums.
It is fine if your child is wiggling their loose tooth. There is no need to have a loose tooth pulled out unless it is causing significant pain or discomfort. Baby teeth that are loose will eventually fall out on their own.
Once the tooth falls out, there may be some small bleeding and that is normal. Your child can simply rinse with water to keep the area clean.
What to do with the tooth once your child’s teeth fall out
Every family has their own traditions when it comes to baby teeth that have fallen out.
If a visit from the tooth fairy is tradition in your family, you may find your biggest decision involves how much money to leave under the pillow for your child.
This can make it fun for your child and also can help to mark the occasion of your child growing up and getting their permanent teeth that will get plenty of use in the years to come.