Who doesn’t remember having a wiggly tooth? You probed it with your tongue and maybe grossed out your siblings by showing off the gaping hole underneath. What made you decide it was time to pull that tooth out?
Many people don’t give it a second thought, especially when the permanent tooth is already forcing its way in or the baby tooth is literally hanging on by a thread. Believe it or not, there are right ways to do it, circumstances where a dentist should handle the deed, and let’s not forget that adults shouldn’t yank their own teeth.
Should You Pull a Baby Tooth?
Though baby teeth generally fall out on their own with no help (other than a little help from your tongue or an apple). Believe it or not, there are some guidelines for when to give a baby tooth a little extra help.
If your kiddo is six or older and the tooth is extremely loose (hanging on by just a little tissue), it’s probably okay to help it out all the way. However, there are a few situations where it’s better to consult a dentist.
- The tooth is barely loose, even if it’s been that way for a while.
- Your kiddo is under the age of five, because loose teeth too early could be the result of an underlying dental problem.
- The tooth is loose due to an accident.
How to Pull A Baby Tooth
It’s important not to pull a tooth too soon, but you can teach your child how to help it along. When you first notice your child has a loose tooth, it’s a good idea to teach them some basics so they know what to expect.
- Remind your child to keep their hands out of their mouth. Dirty hands can leave behind bacteria and debris that can cause an infection. Gross!
- Make sure you let your kiddo know that they may have some blood as their tooth comes out, especially if they have a tough time with blood.
- Don’t try to pull a tooth that isn’t ready because it could cause excessive bleeding and affect the position of permanent teeth coming in.
Step 1: Wiggle It
Wiggle it more than a little bit. Encourage your child to move the tooth around with their tongue. Remind them not to push too hard, but it’s something they can do any time of day, anywhere.
#2 Snack Wisely
When wiggling doesn’t quite do the trick, try switching up snack time (or meal time) with some healthy, crunchy snacks. Apples, celery, and carrots are excellent options for extracting a loose tooth.
#3 Brush and Floss Frequently
Brushing and flossing more often can help loosen the tooth faster. Be gentle but try to target the loose tooth. It may pop out on its own!
#4 Consult Your Dentist
Your dentist is the best resource for removing a loose tooth. They know the best methods for a painless experience and can advise you (and your child) when it’s not quite time to remove a tooth.
Can You Pull Your Own Adult Tooth?
It’s easy to relate to kids pulling baby teeth, but what happens when you’re an adult dealing with permanent teeth? There are many reasons adults need teeth pulled, including crowding, tooth decay, infections, injuries, and wisdom teeth.
Even if you can do it, pulling your own tooth is never a good idea. You could cause significant damage to your mouth and end up with more problems than the tooth caused.
Whether your tooth is broken, infected, or simply loose, it’s critical that you see a dentist for the extraction. A broken tooth could leave fragments behind that could further damage our gums, bone, or soft tissues of your mouth. Likewise, pulling an infected tooth on your own could cause the underlying infection to spread and make you much sicker.
The Bottom Line on Loose Teeth
It’s important to consult a dentist about any loose teeth, especially if there’s pain involved. Dentists know how to treat underlying issues and how to extract a tooth painlessly for a better experience and outcome.
If you’re troubled by a loose tooth and need a tooth extracted, book an appointment at the Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics office nearest you. We can help you find the best treatment options for the best outcome.