Have you ever wondered what you should and should not be doing when it comes to pulling your kid’s teeth? We’re laying out the dos and don’ts of pulling children’s teeth in this blog so you don’t need to think twice the next time your child has a wiggly tooth.
Kids usually start losing their baby teeth around age six or seven and the teeth in the front of the mouth, called incisors, are usually the first to go. When a permanent tooth starts coming in, the roots of the baby tooth dissolve until it is loose enough to fall out painlessly and with very little blood. However, sometimes teeth don’t fall out as easily as we hope and parents may wonder if they should pull the tooth. The answer, though, is that it may be tempting to pull a loose tooth, but it’s best to wait until it’s ready to come out without being forced.
There are a bunch of old wives’ tales that explain how to pull out a loose tooth; you may have heard of tying a string to the tooth and doorknob and then slamming the door or yanking out a particularly stubborn loose tooth with some pliers. The truth is, if the loose tooth in your child’s mouth is not ready to come out naturally, attempts to remove it may pull on the sensitive roots and cause unnecessary pain. Pulling a child’s tooth that isn’t loose enough could cause excessive bleeding, damage to the tissues, or lead to infection.
If the tooth seems significantly attached to the roots, you should tell your child to wait to pull out the tooth for minimal pain. Encourage him or her to continue wiggling it to make it looser; brushing teeth several times a day or simply eating a crunchy apple can also help loosen the tooth so it falls out painlessly! This should be comforting to your child since many kids are afraid that pulling a tooth will hurt.
If you feel that the tooth is ready to come out, you can pull the tooth with these simple steps or with your guidance, your child can pull the tooth themselves!
How to pull a tooth:
- Wash your hands and wiggle the tooth back and forth with a clean tissue, making sure it’s ready to come out. If it’s ready, a little twisting will be necessary and the tooth will pop right out.
- Apply pressure to the area with a clean gauze pad if there is any minor bleeding. Bleeding should stop after a few minutes.
- Examine the gums to make sure no remains of the baby tooth are stuck in the area. In most cases, the area will be clean and you may even see the top of the adult tooth. Visit your dentist if any fragments of the tooth are left behind.
- Time for the tooth fairy to collect the tooth!
- If you see any redness the next day or your child is complaining of excessive pain, you should make an appointment with your dentist to ensure the area is not infected.
If there is ever any concern about a loose tooth, consulting your dentist is the best course of action. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about your child’s teeth