When a child has a loose tooth, especially the first loose tooth, the feelings they experience can be vastly unpredictable.

There are kids who don’t want any adult to touch it, much less even look at it, because they’re scared it could be painful. Some cannot stop playing with it out of curiosity. Others are just uncomfortable with it and want it gone. 

Just as interesting are the ways the tooth can come out. There’s always the “tie a string to the tooth and a door knob” and shut the door method, which is effective. Some parents tie the string to nerf gun dart. There are videos online using remote-control cars, the family pet and hockey pucks.

And the reaction to a tooth falling out is always the best: it starts with fear, then shock when it comes out, then relief followed by laughter.

No matter which way you choose to help your child with a baby tooth, there are a few things to keep in mind with the child’s safety as the No. 1 focus. As always, if you have questions, call Adaven Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics with any questions at 702-492-1955.

How to know if a baby tooth is ready to be pulled?

Usually your child will let you know. Roots of baby teeth eventually begin to dissolve causing the baby tooth to become loose.

This is in preparation for the permanent teeth to come in. It’s quite simple, really: If the tooth is really wiggly, it is ready to be pulled out

Tips to follow when the tooth is ready to come out

We get this question a lot. Here’s what I tell parents and patients.

    • If a baby tooth becomes loose on its own you should encourage your child to wiggle it daily until it becomes very loose
    • Don’t pull it right when it gets wiggly, give it some time
    • Dart guns and slammed doors etc. make for a great video but if you’re going to take that rout make sure the tooth is VERY wiggy and ready to come out
    • Encourage dental hygiene even on the loose tooth
    • Eat hard healthy foods such as apples and carrots to help loosen the tooth
    • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the tooth, bacteria on hands can cause infection
    • Apply clean and damp washcloth or gauze to the area for any minor bleeding
    • Don’t force it, you can always call us and we can help

Problems you may face and when to call the dentist

If at any point you are concerned or have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Here are some other things to remember.

    • If there is still tooth fragments after pulling, call us
    • If there is an abnormal amount redness or pain or bleeding call us
    • Sometimes the permanent tooth can start coming in before the baby tooth is loose enough to pull. If that is the case you should bring your child in for a possible extraction by the dentist

The path to a tooth coming out doesn’t always have a great story. My child’s first tooth came out when she simply changed her shirt and the tooth got caught.

And as soon as it happens, the focus will then shift to when the new tooth will come in. Then you might hear, as the 1948 classic Christmas song states, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”