On Fall, Leaves Falling, Falling Teeth and Tooth Fairies

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The start of a new season is often a perfect prompt to think about new topics to share with our wonderful readers and we couldn’t help but note the synergy between the word “fall” as in the season, and falling leaves as an analogy for falling teeth. We’re not quite sure about the tooth fairy connection to fall but the tooth fairy is certainly a myth connected to teeth falling out and we haven’t talked about the tooth fairy for a very, very long time now – so, it seemed as good a time as any!

Brinkley Dental, your family-friendly dental office, is located in north Brampton – pretty much right on the border of Caledon, Ontario – an area known for its magnificent fall foliage. The entire region is studded with beautiful winding roads ideal for going “leaf-peeping.” Following all the rules of the road, we’d encourage you to get out and explore this colourful region, perhaps even take a picnic with you and stop along the way for a hike. What does all of this have to do with teeth?

If you have little ones with you who are starting to lose their teeth (or one is just about ready to fall out) you may even want to have a bit of fun and follow one of the many tooth fairy traditions that exist in various cultures around the world. Some are quite different from the North American tradition of placing a tooth under the pillow. Several are particularly relevant to trees. Here’s the general theme: In various countries around the world including Tajikistan, Malaysia and some Indigenous cultures and in Japan, teeth are taken out to be buried in the ground and often near the base of a tree with the belief that the new tooth growing in will grow “as straight as a tree.” You could certainly start a new tradition in your family this fall with any teeth that have fallen out although we suspect your kids will still expect a monetary visit from the tooth fairy as well!

Speaking of falling leaves and falling teeth, here’s a refresher on when you might start to see oral related milestones happening in your children.

  • With baby teeth appearing as early as 6-9 months old – when can I expect to see the first teeth falling out? Most children begin to lose their teeth around the age of 6, or about the time they enter into the school system full time. Many a child has lost a tooth at school and lucky for the kids, eagle-eyed teachers will whip out a kleenex and have the child wrap it up to bring home.
  • Your child could lose a tooth as early as age 4 and not lose their first tooth until they are 8 years old and both are still considered to be well within the normal range.
  • Children tend to lose their teeth in the same order in which they arrived, upper molars then lower, upper canines and then lower and so on.
  • Your child may hit puberty before losing all of their teeth – anywhere from 9-13 is more than typical before the last of their baby teeth fall out.
  • Did you know that girls often begin losing their teeth before boys? No particular reason that we’re aware of but it’s a known fact.

If you have any concerns about your children’s teeth and why they may or may not be falling out, if you think it’s happening too soon or too late, make an appointment with your dental health care professional or contact the Brinkley Team. Occasionally, issues can arise with overcrowding, or cavities develop in teeth that might soon be falling out and so they just need a little nudge. Or your child might be approaching an age where they require orthodontic care but some teeth will need to be removed. Whatever the issue, the dentist is the first place to stop to have your questions answered. After that, if the tooth fairy comes to your house or you bury falling teeth near a tree – that’s all up to you and your family traditions. In the meantime, what we will say is this – the same thing we always say at this time;  ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”.

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