To Pull or Not to Pull: Should Parents “Help Out” a Loose Baby Tooth?

Pulling Tooth


Many of us remember getting a little “help” with loose baby teeth when we were young.  It wasn’t uncommon for strings to be tied to teeth and attached to other objects to make things move a tad quicker.  Most children begin to lose their primary teeth around 5 or 6 years old, making room for the adult teeth growing behind them.  But when your child has a loose baby tooth, should you pull it?

Generally, the answer is no.   Parents that pull a tooth which may be less than ready to come out face the risk of damage to sensitive tissue, the possibility of infection, bleeding and pain.  The best policy is patience and allowing your child to play with the tooth themselves.  Children are naturally curious about their loose tooth and will often wiggle it and play with it until it falls out on its own.  Sometimes parents are afraid that their child might swallow a tooth that’s been ready to come out.  If this happens, your child won’t choke and it’s very unlikely that problems can occur – except for possibly disappointing the tooth fairy!

Yours truly,

Dr. Jackie

IMG_4078_4_2_2Dr. Jackie is a pediatric dental specialist and has been certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Her specialty training began at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and continued on to New York University College of Dentistry, the NYU Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital and the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. She was awarded for her excellence and achievements in the field of pediatric dentistry by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Society of Dentistry for Children, honors traditionally given to one recipient each, per graduating year. Dr. Jackie has been providing excellent care in private practice since 2003. To learn more about our office or to schedule an appointment for your child, please visit us online or call us at (858) 755-0050.

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