Has your kiddo got a wiggly tooth and you’re not sure what to do?! Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with tips from our favorite dental hygienist!
How to Pull Out A Tooth – BEST tips and what not to do
The first time you encounter a wiggly tooth it can be a little bit distressing. Unsure if you should pull your child’s loose tooth, if so, how to pull out a tooth, how to reduce discomfort or pain for your child, and a number of other uncertainties can leave a parent very unsure!
We reached out to our favorite dental hygienist, Chelsea, to get some information and tips for what to do with your children’s loose teeth.
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When do kids start losing their teeth?
Kids typically lose their teeth beginning at 6 or 7 years of age (which is why they are known as six-year molars!). They typically lose their bottom middle teeth (lower lateral incisors) first, followed by their top middle teeth (upper lateral incisors).
When do kids lose their front teeth?
Children typically lose their front teeth, the lateral incisors, around the age of 6-7. Children usually lose their bottom front teeth (lower lateral incisors) first, followed by their top middle teeth (upper lateral incisors), possibly as late as 8 years old.
As permanent teeth grow beneath the surface of your child’s gum tissue, they push underneath the primary teeth creating what we know as loose baby teeth. It is a natural process so, if it is possible, the best method is to let the child’s loose tooth fall out on its own! It’s the easy way and natural way!
Do not worry if there is not a permanent tooth already showing when your child loses their baby tooth, it is coming. Want to know when your kids will stop losing their teeth? You can get that answer, along with the answers to many other questions about your children’s teeth in our FAQ.
If it is not possible to let your child’s tooth fall out of its own (if it’s hanging, causing discomfort or pain) and you need to pull it out at home, there are some really important steps you should take:
- ALWAYS make sure your hands are clean before you attempt to pull the tooth. This is really important to have clean fingers to lower risk of infection and prevent further health issues.
- DO NOT force the tooth if it is not ready to come out. Pulling it out before it is ready could increase pain, and potentially result in a broken tooth and tooth fragments being left in the gum.
- Offer a little help if needed, but it is the best idea to let a child work on loosening their own teeth, rather than you doing it for them. They know whether something hurts or not, so it is best left in their little hands (also with clean fingers!)
- DO NOT use things like tweezers, etc. to try and pull out the tooth.
- DO NOT pull the tooth if there is too much pain. In this case, it is best to visit your dental office.
If you do not have a dentist, you can use the locate a dentist feature on the American Dental Association website to locate a dentist near you.
How to pull out a tooth at home – Hygienist’s Tips
- Wash your hands and work with clean fingers
- Let your child work on their own tooth if possible
- Get wiggling! Your child’s tooth can be loosened further through regular wiggling.
- Try flossing the tooth to make it a little bit looser (it may even pop out this way!)
- Try eating crunchy foods. A hard food like apples can work wonders!
- Use a clean tissue (or gauze if you have it) so that you are able to get a better grip on your child’s loose tooth. Pull gently!
- You can use a TINY little bit of oral analgesic so there is less pain if needed
While the first wiggly tooth can create a lot of emotion for parents, from the uncertainty that comes with new parenting experiences to being completely grossed out, this is usually a very exciting time for kids!
Help get your child’s tooth ready for the tooth fairy’s very first visit and print a copy of our free letter from the tooth fairy.
*If the true cause of the loose tooth is from something other than having a loose baby tooth it is a good idea to visit your pediatric dentist to discuss the best course of action, which may include dental work such as a tooth extraction. It is important to visit your dentist regularly, and also if you are concerned about tooth decay, infected tooth, or gum disease.