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When to Pull a Loose Tooth

Wendy J. Woudstra

If your child has a loose baby tooth that is bothering him, you may wonder if you should try to pull it out or just wait for it to come out on its own. It may be tempting to simply pull the tooth from your child's mouth, but this is not always the best course of action. Here are some things to think about before you pull a loose tooth.

Why Is It Loose?

A loose tooth doesn't always mean a permanent tooth is coming up. Kids sometimes knock their teeth out when playing or falling. If your child's tooth is knocked loose, you should make an appointment with your dentist to get it checked out because there can be a risk of infection or damage to the permanent tooth.

First In, First Out

Kids usually lose teeth in about the same order they get them. The front teeth go first, usually around age six or seven. When a permanent tooth starts coming in, the roots of the baby tooth dissolve until it is loose enough to fall out painlessly and with very little blood.

If the loose tooth in your child's mouth is not one that is ready to come out naturally, attempts to extract it may tug on its sensitive roots and cause unnecessary pain. If you're not sure why one particular tooth is loose, and it seems too early or out of sequence for your child, you may wish to contact your dentist.

Consider the Natural Way

In general, if you and your child can handle the inconvenience, it's best not to pull a loose tooth, but rather let them wiggle it until it falls out on its own. This will minimize the pain and bleeding associated with the loss of the tooth. If there is ever any concern about a loose tooth, consulting your dentist is the best course of action.

Learn more about your child's mouth at the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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