To pull or not to pull? That’s the question many parents ask themselves when a wiggly tooth is bothering their child.
When do baby teeth fall out?
Most kids start to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7, when the roots of the primaries naturally dissolve to make way for permanent teeth. The first to come in are the typically the first to fall out.
Within a few weeks, ridges will show in the gums and the new tooth will finish growing a few months later. Sometimes permanent teeth appear behind baby teeth. It is rarely a cause concern, but it is worth letting us know if the permanent teeth are more than partway in or if they are coming in crooked.
On average, children will lose 3-4 teeth per year. By age 12, all 20 baby teeth are usually gone.
Other reasons for a loose tooth
Of course there are plenty of other reasons for a child having a loose tooth. In cases where the tooth has been struck through play or injury, let Kids Dental have a look to ensure there is no risk of infection or permanent damage. If a tooth is knocked out, have your child suck on a clean cloth then rinse their mouth out with water. The bleeding will usually subside within an hour.
Resist the urge to yank
Fortunately the days of tying a piece of connecting string around a wiggly tooth and a door handle are long gone! Forcefully extracting a tooth that is not quite ready to come out can be painful and bloody. Your child may also be at risk of an infection.
In most cases, the best bet is to be patient and simply allow nature to run its course. Kids can help things along by wriggling the tooth— just be sure their hands are clean.
When a tooth is ready to fall out, the process should be virtually painless and involve very little blood loss. The area may tingle, but rest assured your child can still eat and play as normal. If your child complains about the loose tooth hurting, you may wish to apply a topical numbing agent like Orajel to gums.
Swallowing a tooth is not dangerous, as it can easily pass through the body. But you may have some explaining to do to the Tooth Fairy!