Should I Help My Child Pull Their Loose Tooth?

February 27, 2024

Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy? On February 28th, we celebrate Tooth Fairy Day, and as dental professionals, all of us at American Dental are using the opportunity to educate our patients (and their parents) about loose teeth. When your child starts losing their baby teeth, it is an important milestone for them, and they’re probably also excited about getting a special surprise from the Tooth Fairy when they put a baby tooth under their pillow. 

While a visit from the Tooth Fairy is an exciting prospect, it’s important to let your child know that they don’t need to rush the process along. After all, they will only get about 20 visits from the Tooth Fairy, so it’s more fun to space them out. Here’s more about loose teeth in children and what you should do when your child tells you they have a loose tooth.

Why Do Children’s Teeth Become Loose?

All children should start losing their baby teeth around the age of 6. It’s nothing to be alarmed about; it’s actually a good sign. It means the permanent teeth are starting to erupt. Your child should have most of their permanent teeth by the age of 7. If they don’t it could be a sign of impactions or other issues that should be discussed with your child’s dentist.

Is It Safe to Pull a Child’s Loose Tooth?

Ideally, you should wait until a tooth is very nearly falling out on its own to pull it. As the permanent tooth underneath begins to erupt, it will sever the connective tissue attaching the baby tooth to its root until it falls out. Of course, children are often tempted to wiggle and pull on the tooth until it comes out. While this is not particularly harmful, it can cause excessive bleeding, pain, and sensitivity if too much of the connective tissue is severed at once. Touching a loose tooth with bare hands can also introduce bacteria into the gums. If your child can rotate their tooth fully without any pain, it’s a good sign that the tooth is ready to come out.

If your child comes to you for help, it’s best to reassure them that these things take time. That visit from the Tooth Fairy can wait another day. Instead of trying the old doorknob trick, encourage your child to let the process happen on its own. Be patient, and refrain from using any tools like pliers that could potentially damage neighboring permanent teeth.

Consult a Family Dentist in Chicago

If you have questions about your child’s loose teeth, it’s best to speak to a professional like the ones at American Dental. We welcome patients of all ages and we will be happy to monitor the progress of your child’s permanent teeth and help to alleviate any concerns you may have. We even have 8 different locations in the Chicago area to make scheduling an appointment easy for you, no matter where you live or work. Call us at (773) 897-3218 or click “Make an Appointment” to find a family dentist in River West Chicago or anywhere else in the Chicago area.

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