Children begin losing their baby teeth to make room for their permanent teeth around six years old. While this is an exciting milestone in your child’s life, it also poses an important question:
Should you pull baby teeth?

Many adults grew up with the “tie a string to a doorknob” method, but this may not be the best approach to take with your child. Pulling baby teeth before they are ready to come out can be harmful to the sensitive tissue around the tooth, cause excessive bleeding, and unnecessary pain. When a tooth is ready to come out, it should happen with very little bleeding, and should be nearly painless for your child.

Once a tooth becomes loose it can take up to a few weeks or even months for the tooth to really be ready to come out. When a tooth loosens it is because the adult tooth underneath it is growing in, and pushing the old tooth out. The adult tooth absorbs the root of the baby tooth, so when the baby tooth is ready to come out it’s just holding on to the soft tissue. You will know the baby tooth is ready to come out when it can twist almost all the way around without causing pain.

Some children may complain or be annoyed by the loose tooth, and there are ways to help encourage the tooth to come out. Flossing the area, biting into an apple, or wrapping a paper towel around the tooth and gently pulling are all great ways to help a tooth come out when it’s ready.

If losing teeth is scary for your child, there are ways to make their experience more enjoyable such as introducing them to the tooth fairy, or limiting the amount of hard, or difficult to eat, foods in their diet to avoid discomfort.

If you still have questions about how to handle your child’s baby teeth, you can call or text our office today!