When (And When Not) to Pull Those Baby Teeth

When your child begins to lose their teeth around age six, it can be very exciting for them! Many children pride themselves on their missing teeth and love watching their adult teeth grow in. Children usually begin to lose their front teeth first. What do you do when your child needs help pulling their tooth out, and how do you know if it’s ok to pull it?

Is it Loose?

When your child’s tooth begins to get loose, there are a couple of things happening in the mouth here—the first is that the adult teeth have actually started to grow, so the roots of the baby teeth get reabsorbed into the mouth. The second thing that’s happening is that since the tooth now no longer really has “roots”, it is usually only still there by a small amount of tissue. This is usually when the tooth becomes very loose and will fall out. If your child’s tooth feels extremely loose, it’s ok to pull it. Make sure that your hands are dry and try to dry the area around your child’s tooth as best as you can. Many people prefer to use a tissue or a soft cloth to grab hold of the tooth which will help keeping the area dry. A twisting motion is best when pulling that tooth out, and don’t worry about hurting your child—since there’s no roots left, there’s usually little to no pain when pulling out very loose baby teeth.

Give it Time

When it comes to deciding whether or not to pull your child’s baby tooth out, it’s always best to give it time. Your child’s adult teeth will begin to grow, loosen the baby teeth, and fall out on their own normally. If you feel your child’s baby tooth and it feels pretty rooted in there, this is not the time to begin pulling and you may hurt your child as the roots may still be connected, meaning the tooth is just not ready to come out yet. As the tooth becomes looser, you can encourage your child to work the tooth back and forth or push it with their tongue. Many children love doing this and find it exciting. With your child’s help and the body’s natural growth, it’s likely that the tooth will come out in no time. It’s only ok to pull when the tooth feels very loose— remember, teeth that feel solid in the mouth should not be yanked or twisted. Give your child’s baby teeth the time they need to come out on their own.

Your child is growing and changing constantly throughout the years they lose their baby teeth. While pulling baby teeth may be necessary at points (such as if the tooth is extremely loose and there is a risk for your child accidentally swallowing it while eating), you should encourage your child to help loosen the tooth and let it come out on its own. Have fun!

When (And When Not) to Pull Those Baby Teeth
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When (And When Not) to Pull Those Baby Teeth
What do you do when your child needs help pulling their tooth out, and how do you know if it’s ok to pull it? Learn more with Dr. Priya Grewal of Berkshire Family Dental.