Should I Pull My Child’s Loose Tooth or Let It Fall out?

Children tend to lose their first tooth around age six and continue losing baby teeth until around age 12. Getting through the first few loose teeth is often the toughest obstacle because children do not know what to expect. They are young. They feel uncomfortable. And they’re scared of what happens when their teeth fall out.

Before you start tying a string to a doorknob, it’s important to learn the right way to pull a child’s loose tooth. Check out these tips from the pediatric dentists at Clinton Dental Center.

Let Loose Teeth Fall out Naturally When Possible

Ideally, you should let all of your child’s baby teeth fall out on their own. Each tooth is connected to your child’s smile by a web of tissues. These tissues eventually stretch out to release the tooth, which minimizes trauma to the gums.

Pulling your child’s tooth before it is ready to go is similar to pulling brownies out of a pan before they’ve cooled. If you allow the brownies to cool down, they’re stable when they come out of the pan. Remove them too early, and you have a big mess to clean up.

We want your child’s smile to experience the least trauma possible to prevent future oral health issues. This is why we recommend letting loose teeth fall out naturally when you can.

How to Safely Pull a Loose Tooth

If you need to pull your child’s tooth due to discomfort or sensory issues, follow these steps to reduce strain on surrounding tissues:

  • Brush and floss around the loose tooth. The motion of the toothbrush and the gentle pressure of the floss may encourage the tooth to fall out.
  • Gently wiggle the tooth back and forth. Your child may already do this with their tongue, but you could try moving the tooth with your fingers. Wash your hands well before putting them in your child’s mouth.
  • Use a washcloth to grip the tooth. Baby teeth can be slippery. Using a washcloth may allow you to grip the tooth and pull it out.
  • Twist and pull to remove stubborn teeth. As with the other suggestions above, it’s important to do this gently. Twist the tooth and tug to break away the remaining tissues holding it in place.

Will a Dentist Pull My Child’s Loose Tooth?

A pediatric dentist can pull your child’s tooth, depending on the circumstances. If the tooth is not causing significant discomfort, your dentist may recommend letting it fall out on its own. If the tooth is wedged between neighboring teeth and having a difficult time coming out, the dentist may remove it.

Dentists avoid pulling baby teeth early because the temporary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If the permanent tooth below the baby tooth is not ready to emerge yet, it’s best to leave the baby tooth in its place. Otherwise, the rest of the teeth may shift, which creates issues when adult teeth come in.

The best way to prepare for and manage loose baby teeth is with routine dentist appointments. Your dentist can monitor your child’s oral health and development to recommend the ideal course of action for every milestone. Clinton Dental Center offers pediatric dentistry services, and we would love to have you in our family. Contact (586) 949-5363 to schedule a child dentist appointment.