Sometimes you pull their chain. Maybe you pull smoked pork shoulder. Or perhaps you pull an all-nighter. Those are fine, sometimes necessary, and often delicious. But pulling your child's loose tooth? Mmm, let's reconsider your options there. It's most likely annoying to your child, but should you pull their loose tooth? It may not be the way to go. Let's get to the root of the matter below.
First, let's break down why the tooth is loose. The causes of a loose tooth for adults are most likely one of the following:
- Periodontal disease
Hopefully, it can be addressed quickly and efficiently. If it's your child, their tooth is loose, most likely because it's time for the baby tooth to exit and the adult to make an entrance. If there was some accident and the tooth became loose unnaturally, see your dentist immediately.
Normally, whatever tooth comes in first is the first to go. The process of losing baby teeth usually begins when they're around 6 or 7. There's a lot to keep track of as there are 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth. A teething chart can help. The baby tooth's roots have to dissolve to fall out and make room for the permanent adult tooth. Trying to remove a loose tooth before it's ready could lead to bleeding and discomfort. If there is pain after the tooth removal, consider:
- No hot foods until the numbness wears off
- Soft foods for the first 24 hours
- No brushing the area for 4-5 days
- Gently rinse with saltwater
- Take over-the-counter pain relief medication as needed
It may be quite irritating for your child and annoying for you to hear about it constantly. But the best way to extract the loose tooth is to do nothing, actually. The recommended route is for the tooth to come out on its own. There will be less pain and less blood. A little tender love and oral care after that should do the trick.
If you have any questions about your child's loose tooth, get in to see your dentist right away. However, when it comes to tooth fairy questions, we recommend you start saving all your loose change early and often.