Loose baby teeth can cause mixed emotions for both the child and the parent. If you have a child that has been wiggling or complaining of a loose tooth for several days or weeks, it can be tempting to just ask to yank it out. However, before you assume it is okay to pull your child’s loose tooth, be aware of some general guidelines.
Is it really ready to come out? Just because your child can wiggle a tooth back and forth using their tongue, doesn’t necessarily mean it is ready to be extracted by a parent. If the tooth is not quite ready to come out, it may still be attached to the nerves. Pulling it out could create a good deal of pain for your child. In addition, if there is significant bleeding around the tooth, it probably was pulled prematurely. In general, a tooth will only need a gentle pull when it is ready to come out.
What is the harm in pulling a tooth prematurely? Primary (or baby) teeth are designed to hold a place for the adult tooth to emerge. If a tooth is lost too soon, the adult tooth may not erupt into its ideal position.
There is a general guideline as to the order and timing of when baby teeth should fall out. However, every child is different. The front teeth almost always get loose well before the back molars. If you have concerns about whether or not your child’s baby teeth are getting loose in an appropriate manner, please let us know at Mitzi Morris, DMD. We look forward to helping each member of your family maintain a healthy and beautiful smile!