boy wiggling loose baby tooth

Should You Pull Your Child’s Tooth?

Does your child have a loose tooth and you’re wondering if you should pull it out? We’ve all been there, especially as it becomes so loose that it’s hanging on by a thread! At Discovery Kids, we know how important it is to handle a loose tooth so that your child’s adult tooth can break through correctly.

Should you pull your child’s tooth out or go to the dentist?

Usually, we don’t recommend pulling a child’s baby tooth out until it’s ready. Removing a tooth before its time can damage the gum tissue or leave parts of the bone behind. This could also lead to an infection. Most loose teeth will fall out on their own naturally. So let your child wiggle the loose tooth themselves until it falls out. If you’re afraid your child will accidentally swallow and choke on the tooth, you have little to fear. The only problem that comes from swallowing a tooth is missing out on the tooth fairy!

If the tooth is very loose and dangling from the socket and bothering your child, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends wrapping a tissue around the tooth and squeezing. This should lift the tooth gently away. Remember, if your child feels any pain when putting pressure on the tooth, the roots might still be intact, which means the baby’s tooth isn’t ready to be removed. Also, if a tooth is pulled the wrong way, the gum tissue and surrounding teeth could be damaged.

Here are some signs that you should NOT pull your child’s tooth:

  • If it’s only slightly loose as this means the root is still firmly planted in the socket.
  • Your child experiences pain anytime the tooth is touched.

Is it ok to extract baby teeth?

Sometimes when a baby tooth is damaged or decayed, your pediatric dentist will recommend it be extracted to prevent infection. After it’s removed, the surrounding teeth can start to shift around to fill in the gap if the adult tooth hasn’t erupted yet. This can cause some complications when the adult tooth is ready to come in. That’s why extracting baby teeth by force isn’t the first solution.

By the time your child is three, he or she should have twenty primary teeth. When the adult teeth are ready to come through, the roots of the baby teeth will start to dissolve, leading to wiggling teeth. Your child’s teeth should fall out on their own without pain. However, if your child is having pain, it’s time to make an appointment with your pediatric dentist, who will find the best way to treat your child’s tooth.

For any questions or concerns about pulling baby teeth, contact us today!