How To Properly Pull Your Child’s Teeth
One fond memory that all children cherish from their childhood is that of their baby teeth and placing them under their pillow at night – so that the tooth fairy could exchange them for coins and other goodies! What a way to turn pain into joy and leave the children smiling at the end of the ordeal! However, not all children have it easy, and there may be a need for a parent to pull a child’s tooth.
Why do we need to pull out teeth?
Children typically start losing their baby teeth from the age of 6 or 7. These then make way for permanent teeth. Generally, baby teeth fall out on their own when the permanent teeth begin to push their way out to make way for themselves. But sometimes, this doesn’t happen on its own, and the baby teeth need to be pulled out. If so, do it properly to avoid serious consequences, including permanent damage to the facial bone and gums.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts that need to be kept in mind.
Do’s of pulling out teeth:
Identify the tooth that needs attention.
As a parent, you must identify the tooth that seems problematic and needs to be pulled out. It should be pulled after it’s entirely loosened up, so it comes out with minimal force.
Talk to your children about the problematic tooth.
While you identify the problematic tooth, it is also necessary to make your child fully aware of the consequences, so that they don’t end up causing permanent damage or harming themselves.
Make sure your child does not fiddle with a loose tooth.
It’s a good practice to explain that the tooth fairy generally prefers an undamaged tooth in excellent condition and rewards children who don’t try to force the tooth out by themselves.
Share standard methods of pushing teeth out with your children.
Share easy and helpful tactics for managing loose teeth with your children. Encourage them not to push the loose teeth with their tongues or while eating. Remember to explain that a bit of bleeding is normal, or else they might panic.
Don’ts of pulling out teeth:
Don’t try to forcefully pull a loose tooth.
When you find a particularly stubborn tooth that is taking unusually long (or difficult) to come out by itself, don’t try to be the dentist. Instead, go to one immediately. Old world methods might ultimately harm your child and cause permanent damage.
Don’t be careless
Being careless can cause much greater harm than you can anticipate. Do not touch the tooth or its adjoining areas with dirty hands. Instill this habit in your child as well.
Don’t ignore unnatural bleeding or toothache.
If a baby tooth bleeds or aches without any apparent signs of loosening, don’t ignore it as a passing occurrence or an indication of the teeth coming out on its own. Consult a dentist immediately.
Remember, your child’s baby teeth are supposed to fall by themselves when the time comes. So, employing forceful methods is not recommended unless the tooth is causing discomfort or not coming out by itself. It’s best to visit the dentist to figure out the best solution in such cases. After all, we all want to ensure that our child’s teeth transition smoothly towards that perfect smile!
Note: When Washington, DC went into “lockdown,” we closed our offices for regular dental care. As a health care provider, however, we are able to provide emergency dental care to some patients. We will continue to monitor the latest advisories on the virus and take additional measures, as needed.
Remember, everyone’s health and safety come first.
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.