Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Feb 2015

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28 Hudson Valley Parent ■ February 2015 By CHRISTA MELNYK HINES I t seems like just days ago when I waited patiently for my son's first baby teeth to erupt in his infant mouth. Those days of teething came and went in a flash, and before I knew it, my son was old enough that his baby teeth were starting to wiggle and squirm. Like many parents, I wondered: What is developmentally normal when it comes to baby tooth loss, how do we introduce the Tooth Fairy? How does she collect her pearly prizes, and what is the paying pixie's going rate for a baby tooth these days? Losing those baby teeth Pediatric dentist Dr. Jill Jenkins says, in general, children lose their first tooth between the ages of 4 and 7 with teeth falling out in the order in which they first came in. Should you yank a loose tooth? "Usually, the best policy is to let it come out on its own," Jenkins says. "If the other tooth is coming in, parents can have their child suck on a popsicle to numb the gums and eat pizza crust, carrots or apples. If a tooth is wiggly and we're not seeing the new tooth, letting your child work through it on his own is usually the easiest way and the least stressful way to go about it." Be sure to consult your child's dentist if you have any concerns. In some countries, the Tooth Fairy appears as a small white mouse or rat, symbolic because rodents have strong teeth that never stop growing. Has the Tooth Fairy come yet? The 'going rate' on teeth, and other fun facts from around the world (Continued on Page 30)

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