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 to intervene and pull the tooth in some cases when there is extreme discomfort.
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 that’s when the baby teeth need to be pulled out. If it needs to be done at all, do it at the right time and properly or else there could be 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 and when
As a parent, you must identify the tooth that seems problematic and needs to be pulled out. It must be pulled only once it’s completely 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 and / or harming themselves.
Make sure your child does not fiddle with a loose tooth
To motivate the child not to fiddle with the tooth themselves, 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 forcefully pull teeth out by themselves.
Share normal methods of pushing teeth out with your children
Share easy and helpful tactics on managing loose 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 force 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 divine smile!
Remember, healthy teeth make a healthy smile!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric dentistry with restorative and cosmetic procedures, as well as preventive dentistry, in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. Contact the office to schedule an appointment for your child to discuss the benefits of dental sealants.