When you see your child proudly holding that first baby tooth that finally fell out, you may be wondering what happens to the roots. The roots simply dissolve, which is what allows the tooth to come loose and fall out.
Keep reading to learn more about what happens to the roots of baby teeth.
Baby teeth, also called primary or milk teeth, have very thin roots that look like threads.
Your baby will start to get teeth somewhere around six months of age, but the first tooth can appear anytime between three and twelve months of age. Your child should have 20 baby teeth by around age three—10 on the bottom row and 10 on the top row.
Children start to lose teeth anywhere between five to seven years of age, but some kids can begin losing teeth as early as age four. Kids usually lose their teeth in the order they first appeared.
The top and bottom front teeth, called central incisors, are usually the first to come in and the first to fall out.
While you can’t see the roots of baby teeth, they do a very important job before the teeth fall out. In addition to holding baby teeth in place, roots help guide adult teeth to grow in the correct space.
When the permanent tooth starts growing out of the gums, the new tooth breaks down the roots of the baby tooth, causing it to loosen and fall out.
What if my child’s baby tooth root has not dissolved?
In most cases, a child’s permanent tooth will dissolve the root of the baby tooth, causing it to loosen and fall out. However, sometimes a child’s permanent tooth will come in behind the child’s baby tooth. When this happens, the child should be taken to the dentist to have the baby tooth removed.
To care for a loose tooth, make sure your child is brushing at the gum line. If a loose tooth stays in the mouth for a long time, food can become trapped in the hole, causing bacteria to grow. Cavities can form in the adult teeth before they’ve even had a chance to fully form.
It’s important to encourage your child to gently wiggle around loose teeth with their tongue. Yanking or being too rough with the tooth can cause damage to the roots. Gentle wiggling helps the roots of baby teeth dissolve properly so the tooth can come out faster.
If you have questions about the roots of baby teeth, contact Kool Smiles or find a Kool Smiles near you to make an appointment.
WebMD: Teething: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/teething-topic-overview
Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments_and_procedures/hic_Dental_Check-up/hic_Teeth_Eruption_Timetable
Today’s Parent: http://www.todaysparent.com/kids/school-age/baby-teeth-when-do-kids-start-losing-them/
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