My Kid’s Tooth Is Loose — What’s Next?
Being a parent is one of the most stressful tasks in a person’s life. Once you master one stage of your child’s life, they move on to the next stage with a whole new set of problems to figure out. Case in point: their mouth. You spend years ensuring their teeth come in healthy and clean, only for them to start to fall out. As much as we love to hear the types of methods used to remove loose baby (also called primary) teeth, there are issues that can arise from this type of removal.
How Do I Know When a Tooth Is Ready to Be Pulled?
A loose tooth can cause your child pain and discomfort. You may have the urge to pull it out, but there are a few reasons why that might not be the best idea.
- Be cautious of which teeth are loose first. The first teeth that come in are usually the first teeth to come out (the front teeth should normally become loose before the back teeth). A loose tooth could be caused by damage to that tooth — for instance, from a nasty fall. If you have concern that a tooth is loose due to something other than natural causes, contact your dentist for an examination.
- Primary teeth help guide in adult teeth. If a tooth is pulled prematurely, this can affect the placement of one’s adult tooth.
- Be aware of your child’s discomfort. If the tooth isn’t ready to come out yet, it will most likely still be connected to nerves, causing pain. Another indicator the tooth isn’t ready to come out yet is if there is a lot of blood when it’s pulled.
You Won’t Let Me Tie Their Loose Tooth to a Drone – What Should I Do Instead?
To keep things natural, a good rule of thumb is to do what cavemen did. They didn’t have doors and automobiles to attach their loose teeth to, did they? If your child indicates they have a loose tooth, be sure to monitor it. Some kids may become anxious thinking about their teeth falling out. If this is the case, be reassuring and encouraging throughout the process. Beyond that, they will do all of the work. Once they find out they have a loose tooth, they will wiggle it with their tongue or fingers, leading to it falling out in a less intrusive way. If the tooth seems fairly loose and you want to help out, use a piece of gauze and gently pull the tooth while doing a wiggling motion. You shouldn’t have to use much force at all, so if doesn’t come out with a gentle pull, it probably isn’t ready yet.
There are general guidelines of when teeth are expected to become loose and fall out, but every child will be different. If you are concerned with how long your child’s baby teeth have remained in their mouth, a dentist can determine if any of them need to be pulled, while considering the health of their future adult teeth.
Tips for Giving Your Child Healthy Adult Teeth
There may be a train of thought that since baby teeth fall out, there isn’t as much of a need to care for them as compared to adult teeth. This could not be further from the truth. Taking care of children’s teeth (and gums) sets them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. While baby teeth do eventually fall out, they will have them for around 10 to 12 years. Not only will this set them up successfully for the future, but kids need a healthy mouth to enjoy the first part of their life as well.
- Brush their teeth after every meal. The ADA has great advice on how to brush kids’ teeth.
- When a tooth starts to become loose, be sure to floss underneath it as well. Food can get caught in any crevice and will become a buffet for cavity-causing bacteria.
- Watch for certain behaviors from your child like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
At Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, we understand the importance of the role children’s teeth play in their health. Request an appointment online with your Raleigh, NC dentist for a consultation today.