Should I Pull My Child’s Loose Baby Tooth?

Loose baby teeth Hudsonville MI pediatric dentist


When your child starts losing their baby teeth, it’s a big deal! It means that their adult teeth are coming in and their smile will really begin to develop. What you don’t want to happen, however, is for a tooth to be pulled too early and result in complications down the road. Fortunately, our Hudsonville, MI, pediatric dentist is here to help make sure the right decision is made in the moment.

Here’s some advice regarding loose baby teeth and when it’s expected for them to come out.

When You Should Pay Attention to Loose Teeth

Every child is different, but on average, most begin to lose their baby teeth starting around 6 years old. As the molars erupt on their own in the back of the mouth, the roots of the baby teeth in the front weaken. This is because the adult teeth are growing within the gum and preparing to emerge themselves.

Your child might notice that their two central bottom teeth at the front of their mouth become loose and fall out first. Those two are often followed by the two central top teeth. If your child doesn’t lose any until they turn 7, there is no need to panic as it’s still perfectly normal.

How to Talk to Your Child 

After your child shows you a baby tooth on the verge of falling out, it can be tempting to lend a helping hand and loosen it even more. However, it’s best to ask your child what they’d like to do first. If they do not want you to touch the tooth, allow them to wiggle it on their own with either their fingers or tongue.

Some children love the idea of the tooth fairy paying a visit while others are deeply afraid of any tooth leaving their mouth. If your child happens to be the latter, it may mean that you need to step in and assist with the process. Remember, if the tooth does not budge even with a gentle squeeze, it may not be ready.

Best Way to Pull a Tooth

The best technique for pulling a loose baby tooth is quite simple. First, take a clean tissue and place it over the tooth. Then, gently squeeze. If ready, the tooth should pop right out and be relatively painless for your child.

Do not under any circumstances attempt to try the infamous string and doorknob method.This could cause unwanted damage, negatively affect how the adult tooth comes in, and possibly warrant a space maintainer. Our pediatric dentist can let you know when it is appropriate to resort to extraction for stubborn baby teeth.

Suggested Oral Aftercare

Assuming the tooth comes out easily and cleanly, there isn’t much to do in terms of oral care. Simply wrap the tooth in a tissue and save it for the tooth fairy’s arrival if you’d like.

If bleeding does occur, you’ll want to moisten either a teabag or piece of gauze and instruct your child to gently bite down on it. Be sure to also let them know that they shouldn’t brush or irritate the area in any way for a few days. Having them eat softer foods is also advised at this time while the spot heals.

Don’t hesitate to contact our Hudsonville, MI, pediatric dental office if you notice persistent bleeding for more than two hours. This may require emergency dental treatment. Our pediatric dentist can examine the area where the tooth was lost and take appropriate action.

Questions? We Can Help!

No parent wants to do something the wrong way and regret it later on. If you have additional questions about pulling teeth (and when you shouldn’t), please consult with our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville, MI. We can help put you at ease and make sure your child’s smile is taken care of properly in our office. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids today at (616) 209-4039 to schedule an appointment.