Removing Baby Teeth At Home Safely & Painlessly
Children begin losing their baby teeth around the age of 6. However, every child is unique and some may lose their first tooth as early as 4 or 5, or as late as 7 (for more information on the stages of tooth development read our parent’s guide). Regardless, when the time comes for your child to begin discarding their first set of teeth, it’s important to know when it’s safe to pull a baby tooth and how to do so with the least amount of pain. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips and best practices for removing baby teeth at home. Let’s start with the basics.
Can I Remove Baby Teeth By Myself?
The short answer to this question is yes, as long as you’re 100% sure that it’s time for the tooth to come out, and you do it correctly.
Before pulling a loose baby tooth, however, take the time to gauge whether it’s ready to come out. Ask your child if it feels loose enough to pull. How much does it hurt to wiggle? How easy is it to wiggle or how much does it wiggle? If it still hurts to move around, chances are it’s too early to pull. Allowing the roots to fully dissolve and the tooth to fall out on its own is always the best route to take. However, if it is taking longer than usual for the tooth to fall out on its own, follow the best practices below.
How To Remove Baby Teeth
As mentioned earlier, only attempt to remove baby teeth once you’re sure it’s time for them to come out. The child shouldn’t have any problem wiggling or moving the tooth around, and no sharp pain when doing so. If it is time for a tooth to come out, try these methods below.
The easiest way in the book is to simply allow your child to keep wiggling the tooth. They can use their tongue or finger to move the tooth back and forth (only after washing their hands of course). This is a great method because it enables your child to gauge their own pain tolerance and go at their own pace.
Eat An Apple
If you’ve ever been given the advice to take a bite out of an apple to get a tooth to fall out, it’s not the worst idea. It may be slightly painful and the baby tooth may not fall out after just one bite, but it’s not harmful to the oral health of your child – as long as it’s time for the tooth to come out. Eating good, healthy foods that are hard to bite will help further loosen baby teeth and might eventually get one to fall out. Foods that are good for loosening baby teeth include apples, carrots, and celery.
Brush & Floss
Your child should always be brushing and flossing as a general practice of oral hygiene, but it can also help speed along the process of losing a baby tooth. Try having them brush especially well around the loose tooth, making sure to get all sides and angles. Also, flossing around the loose tooth and gently pulling may give the tooth the extra push it needs to fall out.
Use Medical Gauze
If wiggling, eating crunchy foods, and flossing don’t do the trick, you can try pulling the tooth out for your child. We recommend using medical gauze to get a better grip on the tooth and make the process easier. However, make sure to listen to your child and take note of any signs that they may be in excessive pain. If they are experiencing too much pain, then it probably isn’t time to pull the tooth just yet. You can also try giving the child the gauze, and letting them attempt to wiggle the tooth out themselves.
Be Smart & Avoid Gimmicks
We’ve all seen those funny videos on the internet of people pulling teeth in creative ways. Contrary to what you might see online, however, tying a string around your tooth and slamming a door to yank it out isn’t the best idea. Try to avoid the temptation and remember that children’s teeth are fragile and should be treated carefully. Make sure the tooth is loose enough to begin with and don’t do anything that could cause more harm than good. The last thing you want is an unnecessary trip to the dentist or doctor.
Be Patient (Use Ice)
The tooth will come out, no matter how stubborn it is being. It is loose because the adult tooth is pushing up from the gums, which means as it continues to push the baby tooth will come out. Keep on wiggling and the tooth will fall soon! If your child is experiencing pain from the tooth, put some ice on their gum. This will help the pain, making it easier to pull the tooth.
Visit A Pediatric Dentist
For any questions or difficulties related to your child’s baby teeth, contact a pediatric dentist. At Snodgrass-King, you can always give us a call or go online to schedule an appointment. It’s also important to note that once your child starts losing their first set of teeth, it is time to start planning for their future dental needs. If they haven’t already, your dentist will begin looking for signs of whether or not your child will need braces, spacers, or any other type of alignment treatment. They will also look for potential overcrowding, gaps, underbites, or overbites as your child’s adult teeth begin coming in.