Should You Pull Loose Baby Teeth?

Black and white image of 2 young girls with loose baby teeth laughing and covering their mouths with their hands

Kids usually start getting wiggly baby teeth around age six. As the adult tooth starts to push through, causing the root of the baby tooth to dissolve, the baby tooth begins to loosen. Many of our patients have asked us about whether or not they should pull out their child’s baby teeth when they are loose. Read on for tips to help your child have a pain-free smile as their permanent teeth grow in and loosen their baby teeth!

Protect Your Child From Pain & Trauma

Generally speaking, we don’t advise pulling your child’s baby tooth unless the tooth seems absolutely ready to be removed. Readiness for pulling is signified by a VERY loose tooth. If your child’s tooth isn’t loose enough upon home extraction, it can cause pain and excessive bleeding, and even lead to infection. For the protection of your child, we do not recommend you pull out a stubborn tooth, even if your child insists. Additionally, do not forcibly yank out a tooth with pliers or the string-attached-to-the-doorknob trick.

Keep On Wiggling!

When your child tells you their tooth is loose, encourage them to wiggle it themselves with clean hands or a clean tissue. The more they gently wiggle their baby tooth, the more ready it will become to be removed. It may even fall out naturally! Moreover, have them eat nutritious foods that are crunchy, like apples and carrot sticks. These will also loosen teeth, and may even cause the tooth to dislodge.

When a Baby Tooth Is Ready to Be Pulled

Using clean hands, wiggle your child’s tooth to be sure it feels ready to come out. Then, place a clean tissue or gauze over the tooth and hold it between your fingers. If it is truly ready to come out, a gentle tug should do the trick. Place the tissue or gauze over the area with gentle pressure until any bleeding stops. Please give us a call if there appear to be tooth fragments remaining in your child’s gumline.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Checkup!

Waiting to pull your child’s tooth until it is ready will decrease their likelihood of experiencing pain and bleeding. But whether you choose to pull your child’s tooth or wait until it falls out, we appreciate you taking an active role in their dental health! Family enthusiasm for developmental milestones is one way to promote a child’s interest in their own health. Contact us with additional dental-related questions or if it’s time to set up a checkup for your child.

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