If your child comes to you with bothersome loose baby teeth, you may find yourself having to decide whether you should be helping them come out or not. It can be tempting to reach in and pull to the tooth out order to ease their discomfort, but this isn’t always the best path to take. There are a few reasons you shouldn’t just tie a string around the tooth and pull, including pain and possible infection. And there’s also a much kinder way of helping that loose tooth come out!
Should I pull out my child’s loose tooth?
At Reflections Dental Oakville, we’d be happy to check on any loose teeth your child might have and provide personalized advice on whether they’re ready to come out – or not! Visit us today!
Generally speaking, it is often best to let your child’s teeth do their own thing and fall out naturally on their own. It can be tempting to help it on its way though, especially if it is causing your child discomfort. If you find yourself wanting to help there are a few things to consider before you do.
Why is the tooth loose?
Often a loose tooth is a sign that a new, adult tooth is growing into place. But not always! It’s possible that the tooth is loose thanks to a bump while playing or maybe a recent fall. If this might be the case, you want to make an appointment with your family dentist as soon as possible to rule out any possible damage or infection.
First tooth in, first tooth out
Teeth usually fall out in the same order that they grow in, starting with the front teeth around 6 or 7 years old. As the permanent tooth starts growing in it pushes the baby tooth out of the way, resulting in the baby tooth roots dissolving. This helps the baby tooth to fall out with very little pain or blood.
Beware of causing unnecessary pain
When the tooth is not ready to fall out on its own, pulling it can stimulate pain since the roots are so sensitive. If your child has pain related to their loose tooth you may want to contact your family dentist to eliminate any possible concerns.
Signs you shouldn’t pull your child’s loose tooth:
- Your child has pain when the tooth is touched or wiggled
- It’s not very loose
- You can’t comfortably grip it with a tissue
- You haven’t spoken to your dentist
How to pull a baby tooth:
- It probably goes without saying, but you want to give your hands a good washing before you do anything!
- Gently but firmly grip the tooth with a clean tissue and wiggle it to make sure it is ready to fall out. Ensure your child isn’t feeling any pain when you do this.
- If you’ve been given the all-clear in regards to pain, you can apply a bit of a wiggling/twisting motion to the tooth, and it should pop right out! If it doesn’t, it may still be not quite ready to come out and you should wait a day or 2 before trying again.
- Use a gauze pad to apply pressure to the empty space to stop any bleeding if there is any.
- Take a look at the gums to make sure no pieces of tooth have broken off and been left behind. Usually this won’t be the case, and you may even see the top of the new tooth growing in!
- Sweeten the experience with a fun certificate from the tooth fairy!
It’s often best to let baby teeth fall out on their own
Generally, if your child isn’t in too much discomfort or pain, it’s best to let the tooth fall out on its own. Your child can gauge their pain level and wiggle it as much as they’re comfortable with. This will help minimize both pain and potential for bleeding. It may even fall out while they brush their teeth or eat!