Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage that all young children face, whether or not they enjoy it. Bicuspid teeth, also called premolars, are among the teeth a child will lose. Parents can keep tabs on a child's dental health and development by scheduling regular appointments with a preferred dental care professional.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic indicate that children will usually notice a first loose tooth around the age of 6, although children as young as 4 or as old as 8 may lose a tooth for the first time. Girls are prone to earlier tooth loss than boys, though the timing may vary. A child's baby teeth will usually fall out in the order that they erupted, beginning with the bottom front teeth. Should the child lose a tooth to decay or an accident, the permanent tooth may erupt early and grow in a crooked fashion. The Mayo Clinic notes that most children have lost all their baby teeth by the age of 13.
Bicuspid teeth, located next to the sharp-edged canine teeth, total eight in number and are made for grinding and crushing food, according to KidsHealth.org. The baby tooth loosens as the permanent tooth pushes it out of the way. Bicuspid teeth are generally the fourth set of teeth to erupt, and as such are the fourth set to be lost. Experts recommend allowing a child to wiggle her tooth on her own, with limited help from an adult. Forcibly removing the tooth with string or other means is not recommended, as this method could sever the tooth's root and cause infection.
When It Hurts
Sometimes, losing a tooth will cause a child discomfort. While the process is usually painless, a sharp edge on a loose tooth may cut into a child's tender gums. A dental professional may then suggest wiggling the tooth more vigorously to help speed its loss, according to the website Parents.com. Should a toothless child complain that eating has become a challenge, parents can encourage the consumption of soft foods or blend fruits and vegetables until the child's teeth are capable once more.
While a child is losing her baby teeth, it is important to remind her to continue her oral hygiene regimen. Replacing a toothbrush every three months can prevent harmful bacteria from causing tooth decay, and teaching a child to brush after mealtimes can prevent cavities. Parents can begin good hygiene habits as soon as their baby's first tooth emerges, according to the website 1800Dentist.com. Proper care of a child's very first teeth encourages healthy growth of permanent teeth later in life.