If you have a child with a loose baby tooth, you may think if you should try to pull it or simply wait for it to loosen and come out on its own. Pulling a loose tooth from your little one’s mouth is quite tempting, but this isn’t always the best thing to do.

Below are some things you should know before attempting to pull a loose tooth.

Why is It Loose?

A loose tooth does not mean that a permanent tooth is about to erupt. Sometimes, children know their teeth when they accidentally fall or when playing. In case a tooth is knocked loose, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist so he can check it to prevent the risk of having an infection or even damage to the permanent tooth.

Children often lose their teeth in about the same order that they emerge. The frontal teeth loosen first, often between the age of six and seven. When the permanent tooth begins to erupt, the baby tooth’s roots dissolve until it loosens and painlessly fall out with very minimal bleeding.

If the loose tooth isn’t ready to fall out naturally, trying to extract it could affect the sensitive roots, causing unnecessary pain. If you are unsure why one specific tooth is loose, and you are not sure why it’s too early, you may talk to your pediatric dentist about this matter.

How to Help Your Child Loosen Baby Teeth

Kids usually start to lose their baby teeth between the age of four and seven. But some baby teeth can still remain until the age of 12. Although they naturally fall out and are replacement by permanent adult teeth, in some cases, baby teeth require a little help in coming out.

Before you start, be sure to wash you and your child’s hands with soap and water. Next, check the loose tooth to see whether the baby tooth is really loose. If you think that it’s loose enough, here is what you can tell your child to do to help him/her remove the baby tooth:

1.       Tell your child to gently wiggle the tooth. Don’t twist or pull, just move the tooth back and forth to make it looser.

2.       Have your child move the tooth around to determine if there’s any pain. If there is, it’s not ready yet to be removed.

3.       Give your child something crunchy to eat, like an apple, to help loosen the tooth.

4.       Have your child brush their teeth several times a day to help loosen it.

It’s strongly advised to let your child pull their own tooth, because they are only the ones who can best tell it the loose tooth is ready to come out. This will help reduce the amount of bloodor pain that could result from a tooth coming out prematurely.