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A Pediatric Dentist Explains: How (and When!) to Remove a Child's Loose Tooth

Losing the first set of teeth one-by-one can be an exciting and terrifying occasion for kids!

There are those youngsters who enjoy the novelty of wiggling a tooth free. But some kids hate the sensation of loose or missing teeth and need a little help from a parent or pediatric dentist to pull them out on time.

As a mom or dad, how can you help your child to remove a loose tooth?

How Baby Teeth Become Loose

Baby, or primary, teeth have short delicate roots that splay wider than the roots on adult teeth. When an adult tooth starts to grow in, it will push on the baby tooth and trigger the roots to dissolve.

Once the roots disappear, the baby tooth will get wiggly and only the crown remains—that’s the part your child pulls on to get the tooth out.

Is the Tooth Ready to Come out?

Most children’s teeth follow a pattern of falling out in the order they grew in. One of the lower front teeth will likely be the first to get loose. As your child gets older, more of the back teeth (molars) will gradually get looser.

If a baby tooth seems to be loose before it’s time, then it might have been knocked loose prematurely in an accident. It's very common for kids to bump a tooth in their roughhousing.

If you suspect the wiggly tooth is a result of an accident, don't try to yank out a tooth simply because it's a baby tooth. It may not be ready to come out and you could evens damage the permanent tooth underneath. Instead, see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

The Best Tooth Removal Technique

It's safest to rule out Great Uncle Bob's trick of tying a thread between a doorknob and a loose tooth! This can cause a lot of pain and damage if the tooth isn't quite ready to detach from the gums.

The most natural and comfortable way to get baby teeth out is the good old wiggle method. This helps to gently and gradually loosen the gum attachments so that it can come out with next to no pain and little, if any, bleeding. Wiggle the tooth 5 minutes at a time, a few times a day. Before you know it, the tooth will just pop out on its own.

In fact, many kids find it hard to resist wiggling the tooth loose a little at a time with their tongue. There’s no need to discourage the urge—the tooth will simply slide out when the time is right.

When to Call the Dentist

Rather than try to force a resistant tooth that may not be ready to come out, it's better to have it checked by a pediatric dentist.

In some cases, a loose baby tooth can't fully come out because it's stuck next to a new adult tooth. Your dentist will be the one to carefully free it with the help of the right tools and medication.

Tooth Extraction by a Pediatric Dentist in Houston

Are you worried that your kid's loose tooth isn't coming out on schedule? Does it cause an inordinate amount of discomfort or pain?

Call Summit Dental Center  to make an appointment at a location near you. We have the technology and the experienced, kid-friendly dentists you need to keep your child's teethhealthy—and to keep the development of his or her smile right on track.

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