Is That Normal? A Guide For Parents Whose Kids Are Losing Baby Teeth

When your child's baby teeth begin falling out, the experience can be more traumatic for you than for your little one. You may constantly find yourself wondering what's normal when it comes to tooth loss, and what should trigger a call to the dentist. Here's a look at some common concerns parents have when their elementary school–aged kids start losing teeth.

The adult tooth has is already there, but the baby tooth hasn't come out yet.

It's not unusual for the adult tooth to erupt slightly behind or to the side of the baby tooth. When this occurs, the baby tooth may not be completely out by the time the adult tooth appears. Usually, this is nothing to worry about. It's sometimes associated with adult teeth that require adjustment with braces, but that won't happen for a few years. For the time being, just relax – the baby tooth should fall out soon.

The adult tooth isn't coming in yet, even though the baby tooth has fallen out.

Sometimes the baby tooth falls out a few weeks or even a few months before the adult tooth comes in. This is particularly common with the bottom teeth, and when your child has been wiggling his or her teeth a lot to try and "encourage" them to fall out. Usually, there's nothing to worry about. If it has been several months and you're worried, ask your child's dentist at their next checkup. They can take x-rays of the mouth to ensure there's an adult tooth up there.

The adult tooth has a blue tint.

This is one issue that should concern you. If your child's adult tooth comes in with a grayish or blue tint, make an appointment with the dentist promptly. This can indicate that the tooth has begun to die. The tooth pulp inside takes on a blue-gray tint, which shines through the white enamel. The dentist may need to cap the tooth to prevent it from decaying or cracking.

The bleeding won't stop.

It's normal for your child's gums to bleed after a baby tooth is lost. The bleeding may stop and start again for a few days afterwards if your child irritates the area by chewing or brushing too hard. Have your child bite into a piece of gauze. This should stop the bleeding within a few minutes. Then, have him or her stick to soft foods for a few days. Rinsing with salt water a few times per day can promote healing, too.