Losing teeth is both exciting and scary. Kids are thrilled to be taking a step toward growing up but can be nervous about the process. Children may be eagerly waiting for a tooth to fall out while still feeling anxiety about whether or not they’ll swallow their teeth while they’re eating or sleeping, or if losing a tooth will be painful. As a parent, there are a number of steps that you can take to ease your child’s anxiety and minimize the pain that may occur when you pull a tooth that is ready to come out.
Most kids start to lose their baby teeth around age six. Typically the teeth in the front of the mouth are the first to fall out. The baby teeth roots become reabsorbed as the adult teeth start to grow, which leaves just a little bit of connective tissue holding them in place. Consequently, the baby teeth start to become loose. At this stage start reading to him/her the stories of tooth fairy to make it stress-free and a fun experience for your child.
However, when the actual time comes, different kids may behave differently. While many kids are afraid to pull their own teeth, few may pull them out fearlessly. Ultimately it’s better for them to do it themselves. A child knows better than anyone else how loose the tooth is and whether or not it’s painful to pull it. Urge your child to pull the tooth himself before you attempt to do so to keep the pain level to a minimum.
Here are a few tricks to help your child pull out the loose tooth easily:
- Rub some oral Analgesic – sometimes kids become fearful about their loose tooth, especially if it’s their first experience. If your child isn’t able to pull his own tooth, don’t be afraid to offer assistance. Start by rubbing some oral analgesic on the region surrounding the tooth. Oral analgesics are readily available at any drug store and don’t require a prescription. Give the analgesic a few minutes to numb the area. You can also opt to give your child a dose of pain medication, particularly if he is feeling anxious about the process.
- Wiggling the tooth with the tongue – most kids help their teeth fall out painlessly by pressing their tongues against the loose teeth or rocking the teeth back and forth with their fingers. Encourage your child to use these tactics to work loose teeth on their own, which most kids are happy to do. If your child is not ready for this fun, take some gauze or a clean tissue, and wiggle the tooth back and forth to determine if it’s ready to come out. A tooth that is ready will be able to move around freely. If it offers little resistance, pull gently. If you have to yank hard, leave the tooth in place and try again in a few days.
- Move the tooth out further with the help of finger – use the gentle use of your clean finger to move the loose tooth outward if it doesn’t come out naturally through wiggling. However, do not force to pull out the tooth.
- Give your child some crunchy food – biting on crunchy food can make the loose tooth looser and chewing will make it naturally come out. However, make sure the child’s gum is not hurt. Apples or pears can be a good choice.
- Visit a dentist – In some instances, a tooth will linger for a few weeks, which can be frustrating or even a hassle, as it can make it difficult for a child to eat or brush his teeth. You must decide if the tooth is ready to fall out. If it’s still firmly rooted, leave it in place, as pulling it can be quite painful. If it’s hanging by a thread, you may be able to help your child remove it.
But if your child is too fearful than normal due to extreme pain or anxiety, take him to dentist instead of trying these tricks. The dentists will not only psychologically ease the process for the kid but also use the right technique to pull out the loose tooth that will not affect the child at all.
Aftercare treatment for pulled out tooth and gums:
- Offer Distraction from Pain and Bleeding – once you’ve pulled out the tooth, it’s not uncommon for there to be a little blood in the original tooth spot. Apply pressure to the region with a clean gauze pad to help the bleeding stop more quickly. Focus on how exciting it is that your child lost their tooth to ease their stress.
- Examine Gums for Baby Tooth Fragments – after the bleeding has stopped, check the gums for baby tooth fragments. Most of the time, there won’t be any fragments. You may even be able to see the adult tooth poking through the gums. If there are tooth fragments left behind, don’t attempt to remove them on your own. Instead, make an appointment with the dentist. Tooth fragments may become embedded in the gums, which can be painful and lead to further dental problems.
- Remain Vigilant for Gum Infections – pulling a tooth may cause a small tear in the gum. Any time there is an opening in the body, there is a risk of infection. Although the chance of infection is minor, keep an eye on your child over the next week following a tooth pull. If your child complains of pain or there is redness in the gum area, take him to see the dentist.
- Once you’ve pulled the tooth, it’s not uncommon for there to be a little blood in the original tooth spot. Apply pressure to the region with a clean gauze pad to help the bleeding stop more quickly. Focus on how exciting it is that your child lost his tooth and that the tooth fairy will be paying a visit in the near future to distract him from the pain and blood.
- After the bleeding has stopped, check the gums for baby tooth fragments. Most of the time, there won’t be any fragments. You may even be able to see the adult tooth poking through the gums. If there are tooth fragments left behind, don’t attempt to remove them on your own. Instead, make an appointment with the dentist. Tooth fragments may become embedded in the gums, which can be painful and lead to further dental problems.
- Pulling a tooth may cause a small tear in the gum. Any time there is an opening in the body, there is risk of infection. Although the chance of infection is very low, keep an eye on your child over the next week following a tooth pull. If your child complains of pain or there is redness in the gum area, take him to see the dentist.
If you ever have any questions about the way that your child is losing their teeth or how their adult teeth are coming in, consult with your dentist. They will be able to check your child’s teeth and offer a professional assessment of any potential issues.
Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about loose teeth in children:
Should You Pull a Loose Baby Tooth?
In general, the baby tooth should be allowed to come out naturally and painlessly. You can gently pull a loose baby tooth only after making sure that it is free enough to fall off naturally. The fact is, if your child’s loose tooth is not prepared to fall off on its own, attempts to detach it may pressurize the sensitive roots leading to unnecessary pain and bleeding, or cause infection.
When Should a Baby Tooth Be Pulled?
Your child should get a complete set of 20 primary/baby teeth by the age of three years. During the time of arrival of their permanent teeth, the roots of the primary tooth dissolve and get loose enough to fall out on its own. If you sense that the tooth is ready to come out, you can gently wrap a tissue about the tooth and squeeze or guide your child to wiggle out their tooth themselves!
When Is It Compulsory to Extract Baby Teeth?
Although baby teeth serve an essential function in your child’s permanent teeth development, there are a lot of reasons your child may require to get them extracted early. Extraction may be specified due to a terrible toothache, serious decay or infection, injury or some disorders in the development pattern or regular shedding program of the tooth. Occasionally, the decision to extract a tooth may not be due to an issue with the tooth itself, but the situation that its removal is beneficial to the neighboring teeth.
What Should I Expect During the Baby Teeth Extraction Procedure?
Baby teeth, also known as primary or milk teeth, play a significant role in the evolution of permanent teeth arrangement. Sometimes a baby tooth must be removed to pave the way for the emerging adult tooth to prevent crowding and misalignment. If your child is due for a tooth extraction, they may undergo pain and sensitivity in the subsequent days. Follow your dentist’s guidelines for maintaining dental hygiene of your child and reducing the pain, after they get a tooth extracted.
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists