Should You Pull Your Child’s Loose Tooth?

Your child’s baby teeth will eventually become loose and fall out, leaving room for the permanent teeth to erupt through the gum tissue. Children typically lose their primary teeth in the same order that the teeth came in, which means your child’s incisors should become loose around age six or seven [1].

If one of your child’s baby teeth is loose, that means that the permanent tooth is on its way in. The permanent tooth will slowly force the baby tooth out, which is why the primary tooth becomes loose as the connective tissue dissolves. When your child has a loose tooth, is it ok to pull it out? Here’s what you should know when it comes to pulling your child’s baby teeth.

If You Can, Let the Tooth Come Out on Its Own

Usually, a child’s loose baby tooth will come out by itself. If you can, leave the tooth alone until it comes out. If your child is complaining that the tooth is very loose, or you’re worried the tooth may fall out while your child is sleeping, you can evaluate how loose the tooth is.

If the tooth still feels firm and secure, it’s certainly not ready to be pulled. However, if the tooth is so loose you’re not sure how it’s still attached, you may attempt to gently pull it. You can do this by using a tissue to grab the tooth and gently pull it to see if it will come out [2].

Encourage Your Child to Wiggle the Tooth

Should your child’s baby tooth be loose, you can encourage your child to wiggle the tooth on their own, whether with their (clean!) fingers or with their tongue. This way, instead of having to pull the tooth, your child can help the tooth naturally become more loose over time and fall out on its own when it’s ready.

Never Force a Baby Tooth Out

If your child feels pain when you wiggle their tooth or attempt to pull it, never force the baby tooth out. The baby tooth needs time to work its way out as the permanent tooth comes in, and you should never force this process.

Should you have concerns about your child’s loose tooth, or believe it should have fallen out already, don’t hesitate to follow up with your child’s dentist. In some cases, whether for orthodontic reasons or if the tooth is stuck, it may need to be pulled by your dentist [3].

Have Questions? Ask Your Pediatric Dentist

Your child’s pediatric dentist is there to answer your questions and support your child’s oral care. If you have any questions about your child’s loose tooth, you can always follow up with their dentist before pulling a tooth that may not be ready to come out. Remember, most loose teeth will fall out on their own, so let them come out naturally if you can!

Sources:
1. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/When-
Children-Begin-to-Lose-their-Baby-Teeth.aspx
2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ask-an-ada-dentist/removing-loose-tooth
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410675/

Summary
Should You Pull Your Child’s Loose Tooth?
Article Name
Should You Pull Your Child’s Loose Tooth?
Description
Your child’s baby teeth will eventually become loose and fall out, leaving room for permanent teeth. When your child has a loose tooth, is it ok to pull it out? Here’s what you should know when it comes to pulling your child’s baby teeth.
Author
Lansdowne Dental Associates