Around the ages of five or six, children usually experience their first loose tooth. Wiggly teeth are exciting and losing them is a rite of passage, a sign to the child that they are growing up! But losing teeth can also feel scary and confusing.
Shared below are first loose tooth and tips, traditions, and crafts for this very special time.
The First Loose Tooth
A child has 20 baby teeth. Between the ages five and six, baby teeth become loose as adult teeth push in.
Two weeks ago, I noticed that my oldest son’s front tooth was pushing outward. Upon biting a peanut-butter sandwich later that day, he turned to me with fear in his eyes and said, “My tooth feels funny, Mommy!” I checked and sure enough, we had a wiggler!
I reminded him that as he grows, his baby teeth become loose and fall out so his new grown-up teeth have space to grow.
Loose Tooth Tips
1. If your child is alarmed by his loose tooth, reassure him that everything is just fine. Tell him you understand he feels frightened, but losing teeth is a normal part of growing up to be a big kid.
My son was worried about his loose tooth and felt better after hugs and reassurance; I wasn’t worried about it, so he wasn’t worried about it!
2. Depending on the loose tooth’s location, eating certain foods might prove to be difficult for your child. My son couldn’t bite into hard foods, so I cut apples into slices for him.
3. Good dental hygiene is always important. Encourage your child to continue brushing and to rinse well, as food particles may slide under the loose tooth.
4. It may be fun to give your child’s loose tooth a nickname. We called my kiddo’s tooth “Wiggles.” Every morning I asked him, “How’s Wiggles doing?” He would reply, “He’s getting more wiggly, Mommy! I think he might fall out today!” I loved to catch his eye while he was playing, wink at him and say, “Wiggle, wiggle.” He would smile with pride!
5. When your child’s loose tooth falls out, he may cry and become upset. He may panic at the sight of blood in his mouth or hand. Just hold him until he calms down and talk him through it. Tell him you are proud of him for being so brave!
6. After your child’s tooth falls out, he will appear more grown-up to you. (He may act like it too!) Be prepared for a slight lisp in his speech and occasional saliva spray through the gap in his mouth.
7. Your child may experience pain, inflammation, or headaches while his adult teeth come in, or he may feel nothing at all. If your child is in pain, talk to your pediatrician or dentist about it.
8. Decide what traditions, if any, you will follow when your child loses a tooth. Such an occasion does warrant a celebration; make your child feel special!
9. Take plenty of pictures of your child’s new smile!
Loose Tooth Traditions
Today’s popular tooth celebrity, The Tooth Fairy, makes a magical nightly appearance in most American homes. The Tooth Fairy takes the child’s tooth from under his pillow (my son told me that she gives them to new babies—not sure where he got that idea!) and in turn, leaves a small gift for the child. The Tooth Fairy was highly popularized in the 1980s through merchandising, but the tradition has been traced to the early 1900s.
The Tooth Fairy typically leaves money or a small trinket, but some other ideas include tokens to an arcade, a new toothbrush, or something edible. Colin received a silver half dollar coin from his Tooth Fairy!
Loose Tooth Crafts
When leaving a baby tooth for The Tooth Fairy, help her out by placing it into a pillow or a box.
To make your own Tooth Fairy Box, you will need:
1. Use the cover of the box to cut out a red pillow for the inside of the box. Cut out a tooth from the white felt.
2. Cover the entire box with Glossy Mod Podge. Allow it to dry completely.
3. Place the pillow inside of the box. Use tacky craft glue to secure the tooth to the lid of the box.
Watching your child grow and pass milestones, like losing their first tooth, is one of the most fulfilling aspects of parenting. I feel so blessed to be one of the people caring for, encouraging, and supporting my boys as they grow.