Understanding Baby Teeth

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Most babies are born with teeth that have yet to emerge from the gum tissue. Over the course of the first two to three years 20 teeth erupt from the gums. These primary teeth, sometimes called baby teeth, are lost over time as our mouth grows. By age 18 most people will have all their primary teeth replaced with 32 permanent teeth.

Losing baby teeth can sometimes be an emotional or even traumatic experience for a child. This is especially true if a particular tooth is loose but does not easily want to come out. Most children have a natural tendency to want to wiggle a loose tooth. This is actually an important step in helping the tooth release freely from the gums.

It’s important to be patient, sometimes the tooth may need a few days or even a couple of weeks before it’s ready to come out. Be sure to explain what’s happening to your child and encourage them to keep wiggling.

Every now and then a primary tooth can get stubbornly stuck and it seems no amount of wiggling will get it to come free. Knowing when and how to remove a stubborn baby tooth can be a little bit tricky. The old image of a string tied between a loose tooth and a door knob, is more likely to cause trauma.

You can try grasping the tooth with a tissue, paper towel or a piece of sterile gauze. Then pull it out with a slight twist. If a tooth still refuses to come out, or your child experiences pain you should give us a call at [phone] as the tooth may need to be extracted.