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Key points
  • Your child's adult teeth should appear at around six-years-old
  • Letting your child practice brushing from an early age will help them do it on their own
  • If your child ​knocks out an adult tooth you can keep it in milk until it's re-fitted
  • You should never remove a wobbly tooth from your child's mouth

HOW CAN I GET MY CHILD TO BRUSH THEIR OWN TEETH?

Some children are keen to take on the responsibility of brushing their own teeth, but this isn't always the case. The easiest way of teaching your child to brush on their own, is to allow them to practice from a young age. It's also a good idea to brush your teeth at the same time, that way you can make sure they brush for long enough, and show them the correct way to do it.

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WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD ​KNOCKS OUT A TOOTH?

Losing a baby tooth isn't an emergency. A permanent tooth will grow in its place, and it's very unlikely it will need to be re-attached. It's still important to make an appointment with us as your child's permanent tooth may not emerge for some time, and a dentist may need to fit a ‘space saver'.

However, if it is a permanent tooth, you will need to make an emergency appointment with us. The sooner the tooth is re-attached, the better the chance it can be saved. You can follow these instructions to maximise the chance of saving the tooth:

  • Rinse the tooth with milk or salt water.
  • Don't scrub or brush the tooth
  • Place the tooth back in the socket and ask the child to bite down onto a tissue to hold it in place.
  • If you can't place the tooth back into the socket, store it in a container filled with milk or the child's own saliva.

Top Tip:

Try to handle a knocked-out tooth by the white top, not the root. This will help keep the root clean and avoid infection after the tooth has been re-fitted.

WHEN WILL MY CHILD'S ADULT TEETH COME THROUGH?

Just like with baby teeth, every child's adult teeth will come through at a different time. As a general rule, most children have their first adult teeth come through at around six years old. Don't worry if your child's come through a little later than other children's, but if you're ever in doubt, it's best to check with us.

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IS IT SAFE TO PULL OUT A WOBBLY TOOTH?

You should never try to remove your child's tooth. Only your child knows for sure how attached the tooth is and how painful removal will be so it's best to leave it up to them. Putting your fingers inside their mouth could hurt your child, especially if they have wobbly teeth. Have your child wiggle the tooth with their tongue until it comes loose. There should be very little bleeding.

Did you know?

Sometimes your child's tooth may come out unexpectedly. If this happens and your child swallows the tooth, don't panic! The swallowed tooth might only disappoint the tooth fairy.

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CHILD IS BRUSHING REGULARLY?

One of the simplest ways of checking if your child is brushing their teeth is to wait till they've finished in the bathroom, and check to see if their brush is wet. This may seem a little sneaky, but letting your child know that you're aware of when they do or don't brush is usually a good enough deterrent to make them stick to their routine.

SHOULD MY CHILD CHANGE THE WAY THEY BRUSH FOR THEIR NEW ADULT TEETH?

Your child should already be well aware of proper brushing technique, and besides being extra gentle around sore gaps where adult teeth are coming through, your child should continue brushing as they have been.

Providing NHS Dentistry