June 15, 2020
Losing a tooth is an exciting right of passage for children! Around the age of six or seven, the roots of their primary teeth (aka “baby” teeth) dissolve to make room for their permanent set. This ensures that the experience is as pain-free as possible. However, sometimes the process is not as smooth as you and your child would like, which can lead you to consider pulling it out yourself. Before you try the old “tie a string to a doorknob” solution, read the below dentist-recommended dos and don’ts for pulling baby teeth:
4 Dos of Pulling Baby Teeth
- Explain the procedure ahead of time – This can take away some of the fear and anxiety that can develop around losing a tooth. A great place to start is with books that depict the process of losing a tooth. You can also show them movies or games that have a courageous leading character who overcomes their fear. This can help encourage them when they feel scared.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the tooth – Did you know your hands can hold up to five million bacteria? To prevent germs from entering your child’s mouth and potentially resulting in infection, it is important to wash them before attempting to wiggle or pull the tooth. You can also use some tissue or gauze to gently grab the tooth and stop any minor bleeding.
- Encourage your child to continue to wiggle the tooth – While ideally, your child’s tooth would come out on the first try, it rarely happens that way. Instead of continuing to pull and tug on the tooth, simply encourage your child to continue to wiggle it to make it looser.
- Ensure that no remaining fragments are left after the tooth is pulled – When the big moment arrives, it is important to check your child’s gums. While some redness and minor bleeding are normal, leftover tooth fragments are not. If you see anything unusual, make sure to call your dentist right away.
3 Don’ts of Pulling Baby Teeth
- Use old-fashioned approaches – While approaches like tying a string to the tooth and a doorknob are funny in theory, they can traumatize your child. This can lead them to become fearful of losing other baby teeth down the road. Therefore, it is important to opt for a gentle, encouraging approach.
- Don’t force your child to pull it out if it isn’t ready – Whether the tooth is just starting to get loose or barely hanging on by a thread, it is important to be patient. Most baby teeth naturally fall out on their own, especially when a permanent tooth is closing in on its spot. If one of your child’s teeth are particularly stubborn, speak to your dentist before attempting to yank it out on your own.
- Neglect their oral hygiene – Children often experience some sensitivity around their loose tooth or become fearful that brushing will tear it out. However, it is of the utmost importance that they continue to brush their teeth. To ensure that their teeth remain healthy, encourage them to gently brush for two minutes at least twice a day.
For a child, losing their baby teeth is another milestone on their journey to growing up. To prevent this from becoming a scary event or an experience that causes them to feel anxiety around going to the dentist, it is crucial to follow the above dos and don’ts. That way, your child can enjoy the process of growing into their new smile!
About the Practice
At Stroud Pediatric Dentistry, each member of their team uses their extensive training and passion for dentistry to provide children with an experience that genuinely makes them look forward to their visit! Whether your child needs a routine checkup or an emergency visit, Dr. Robert Casey Stroud, Dr. Michael Ball, and the entire staff are ready to help at their convenient location in Willow Park. If you have any questions about helping your child with their loose tooth, don’t hesitate to visit their website or give them a call at 817-441-2425.
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