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During the first two to three years of life, your child’s 20 primary teeth will emerge from the gums. This will provide them with the ability to bite, chew and grind most early foods. As they grow and their jaw structure expands, these primary teeth will gradually start to come loose and fall out.

By early to mid-adolescence, your son or daughter should have all 32 of their permanent teeth. These teeth will need to serve them for the rest of their adult life.

For some children losing a primary tooth can feel like a rite of passage. At the same time, it can also be an opportunity to instill good oral hygiene habits. The pride they take in their new tooth can be just the boost them need to feel a greater sense of responsibility. Make sure to talk to them at each step during the process to make sure they understand this and embrace stewardship of their own dental health.

Sometimes a primary tooth can feel loose or wiggle in the socket for many days. Knowing when and how to remove a stubborn baby tooth can be a little bit tricky. In a situation like this, you can try grasping the tooth with a tissue, paper towel, or a piece of sterile gauze. With a firm grip, you can gently try to twist and pull the tooth loose.

It’s perfectly normal for a tooth to feel loose for several days if not weeks. This is especially true for larger teeth that could have multiple periodontal ligaments.

If you are in the Provo, Utah, area and your child has a loose tooth that is giving them pain or distress, you can call 801.373.4200 to speak to Dr. Trace M. Lund & Kevin R. Markham or a member of staff at Provo Pediatric Dental.