A child’s baby tooth will usually fall out on its own without any intervention. However, sometimes “a little assistance” is needed. Parents are sometimes unsure about what to do when it comes to extracting their child’s loose baby tooth. Should the parent pull out the tooth, encourage the child to pull the tooth himself, or make an appointment with the dentist? Here are some simple thoughts to consider….
Many dentists agree that it is best to leave the loose baby tooth alone and encourage the child to deal with it himself. A loose tooth usually comes out easily as children like to play with the tooth. Before taking the step of extracting the tooth yourself, allow the child to explore the loose tooth with his tongue and fingers, which will encourage the tooth to come out without parental help. Encourage him to see how far he can move the loose tooth back and forth. If the child seems uncomfortable moving the loose baby tooth, don’t force the situation.
Take a Bite
Some kids might experience discomfort with a loose baby tooth due to irritation of the gums. In this case, you may want to administer a bit of aspirin or oral pain-relief gel and provide the child with softer foods until the tooth is extracted. Relieving pain can give the child the encouragement he needs to extract the tooth himself.
However, if a child is feeling comfortable and not experiencing any pain, providing him with harder and sticky food that might encourage the tooth to come out. Foods such as popcorn, nuts or toast with peanut butter might aid in getting the loose tooth dislodged. There is generally no harm to children if a baby tooth is accidentally swallowed other than not having the tooth to place under the pillow that night for the tooth fairy.
Pull It Out
If a baby tooth doesn’t seem to budge and the child is becoming frustrated, it might be time to have a parent intervene. Assisting the child in pulling out his own tooth is important to the whole process. Allow the child to take control of the situation with your assistance. The child is the only one who knows how much pain and discomfort he is comfortable with. Parents can provide lots of moral support and encouragement while he tries to pull out the loose tooth.
A parent might have to help if the child isn’t able to pull the tooth himself. Use a tissue or piece of clean gauze and pull upward on the tooth. If the tooth is extremely loose, it should come out easily. If there is any resistance, it is best to leave the tooth alone and allow nature to do its job. It might be a couple more days before the roots are completely dissolved.
Whenever in doubt, contact your family dentist. Dental on Central is a unique dental practice that provides compassionate, specialty care for all ages. We always welcome your calls and questions!
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