Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

What to Do With Loose Baby Teeth: Pull or Not Pull?

Young boy with missing teeth grandville pediatric dentists mi

What to Do With Loose Baby Teeth: Pull or Not Pull?

Young boy with missing teeth grandville pediatric dentists mi

It’s a huge milestone when your child comes and tells you that they have a loose tooth. Once the immediate excitement passes, you might be thinking: is it better to pull it out or let it happen naturally?

The answer to that question depends on a few factors including how loose the tooth is and your child’s anxiety level regarding the situation. Our Grandville pediatric dentists advise against forcing any tooth out if it’s not ready. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, it can affect the position of an incoming permanent tooth.

Keep reading to learn when it’s normal for your child to start losing teeth and the best way to pull a tooth out safely.

When to Look Out for Loose Teeth

Every child is different, but on average, most begin to lose their baby teeth starting around 6 years old. As the molars erupt on their own in the back of the mouth, the roots of the baby teeth in the front weaken. This is because the adult teeth are growing within the gum and preparing to emerge themselves.

Your child might notice that their two central bottom teeth at the front of their mouth become loose and fall out first. Those two are often followed by the two central top teeth. If your child doesn’t lose any until they turn 7, there is no need to panic as it’s still perfectly normal.

Discussing Loose Teeth With Your Child

After your child shows you a baby tooth on the verge of falling out, it can be tempting to lend a helping hand and loosen it even more. However, it’s best to ask your child what they’d like to do first. If they do not want you to touch the tooth, allow them to wiggle it on their own with either their fingers or tongue.

Some children love the idea of the tooth fairy paying a visit while others are deeply afraid of any tooth leaving their mouth. If your child happens to be the latter, it may mean that you need to step in and assist with the process. Remember, if the tooth does not budge even with a gentle squeeze, it may not be ready.

Tips for Pulling a Tooth

The best technique for pulling a loose baby tooth is quite simple. First, take a clean tissue and place it over the tooth. Then, gently squeeze. If ready, the tooth should pop right out and be relatively painless for your child.

Do not under any circumstances attempt to try the infamous string and doorknob method. This could cause unwanted damage and negatively affect how the adult tooth comes in. Our pediatric dentists can let you know when it is appropriate to resort to extraction for stubborn baby teeth.

Oral Aftercare

Assuming the tooth comes out easily and cleanly, there isn’t much to do in terms of oral care. Simply wrap the tooth in a tissue and save it for the tooth fairy’s arrival if you’d like.

If bleeding does occur, you’ll want to moisten either a teabag or piece of gauze and instruct your child to gently bite down on it. Be sure to also let them know that they shouldn’t brush or irritate the area in any way for a few days. Having them eat softer foods is also advised at this time while the spot heals.

Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you notice persistent bleeding for more than two hours. Our pediatric dentists can examine the area where the tooth was lost and take appropriate action.

Call Our Pediatric Office Today

Watching your little one lose their first tooth can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. After all, it means they’re growing up. Whether they’ve already lost a tooth or are still too young, our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, are here to help keep their smile healthy. Call Grandville Pediatric Dentistry today at (616) 531-3430 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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