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All I Want for Christmas ...

December 2, 2014

The loss of a baby tooth is an exciting milestone for little kids. As the 1946 Don Gardner song "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" plays on radios this holiday, these teeth also are included on lots of wish lists given to Santa!

Losing a baby tooth is the sign of becoming a big kid. It is probably one of the most monumental things to happen in the lives of our 5- and 6-year-olds. It is fun to hear them competitively track tooth loss and trade war stories with one another. Working as a dental hygienist in a family dental practice, I know one of the most common questions is the eruption and the tooth loss process.

As parents of growing children, we have to remember that not all kids grow and mature the same. Most kids lose their first tooth at 5 or 6 years old, but this can even happen as young as 4 or as old as 8. Baby teeth loosen and exfoliate as the roots dissolve, which clears the way for a big or permanent tooth. In typical eruption, the bottom two front teeth are the first to go followed by the top two upper teeth. The general rule of thumb is that children lose their teeth in the order in which they erupted.

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At the same time baby teeth are falling out, the 6-year-old molars are coming in. The gums may appear swollen in this area and your children may complain of pain. This is a great time to schedule an appointment with your family dentist for a professional cleaning and exam!

Christmas is a magical time and an exciting season of creating memories and capturing lots of videos and pictures. If you happen to be a parent of a toothless cutie this holiday, make sure you record them wishing you a Merry Christmas. It will be adorable to hear their cute little whistle!

- Jessica Cerullo-Landis, registered dental hygienist with Dr. T.J. Ameredes and Dr. Matt Karnoupakis in Wheeling



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