Fanning Orthodontics - Dental Blog

To Pull or Not to Pull Baby Teeth

Losing baby teeth? You may want to think twice before yanking it out!

Losing baby teeth is a big milestone in childhood. Some children may be nervous, while others are excited for the tooth fairy to visit them. Whatever your situation is, there are a few things you should keep in mind when your child’s teeth start to wiggle.

Children generally start losing their teeth around 6-7 years old, but all kids are different so it is normal if your child is a little bit younger or older when their teeth come off. The first teeth that come out are generally the first ones that came in during infancy. Staying up on your child’s dental checkups can ensure their teeth are developing properly.

To Pull or Not to Pull

When a permanent tooth starts to erupt, it pushes on the baby tooth it is about to replace causing the baby tooth to feel loose. Once the tooth starts to wiggle, it can take a few weeks until the tooth is actually ready to come out. The classic string and doorknob method for pulling out baby teeth is ancient history. The best thing to do is let the tooth come out on its own. If a tooth is pulled too early it could lead to infection.

As the tooth comes out, you may hear a popping sound. This is the tooth separating from the root. The gums will most likely bleed when the tooth comes out. Wipe the gums with sterile gauze and have your child rinse their mouth with a warm saltwater solution. This may be uncomfortable for your child, but it will help clean the socket to avoid infection.

Loose Teeth from Injury

Accidents happen! Falls or other traumas to the face can cause the teeth to feel loose. However, do not try to pull out any teeth even if it is a baby tooth. While it is not an emergency, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with their dentist. Your child’s dentist can ensure that there is no infection or damage to the underlying permanent tooth.

If one of your child’s permanent teeth becomes loose, make an appointment with their dentist immediately. Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Your child’s dentist will do everything possible to maintain the tooth’s health and function.

Tooth Fairy Fun!

Losing a tooth is an important rite of passage, but it can be scary for some children. Telling your child about the tooth fairy coming to collect their tooth can make them excited about the experience! The tooth fairy can also encourage your child to keep up their oral hygiene by leaving them a note congratulating them on their healthy tooth and telling them to keep up the excellent work.

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