Young child with a loose tooth laughs and smiles while wearing a green hooded jacket lined with faux fur

Should You Pull a Child’s Loose Tooth?

You might think that baby teeth are meant to be pulled out, especially if they’re loose, right? Well, as tempting as it may be to help your child pull out their wiggly baby tooth, if their tooth isn’t loose enough, pulling it before it’s ready may have serious consequences. Read on to learn why!

What Are Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth are the very first set of 20 teeth that we’re all born with. They begin to erupt from the gums when we’re between 6 and 12 months old, and help properly shape our bites and build jaw strength. But even though they are temporary, they are critical to healthy oral development. Baby teeth enable correct development of our speech and chewing abilities as our permanent teeth form under our gums, and act as placeholders that allow our 28-32 adult teeth to properly grow in.

Why Do We Lose Our Baby Teeth?

Having a smaller set of primary teeth is very practical, for when we are born, our mouths are obviously so small that they cannot accommodate the full set of adult teeth that we eventually get. Thus, we begin to lose our baby teeth as our jaw grows longer and larger, and our adult teeth make their way toward the gumline.

Why Shouldn’t I Pull a Loose Baby Tooth?

If you pull a child’s stubborn baby tooth when it isn’t loose enough, your child could experience excessive pain and bleeding, damage to their gums, and even infection. Prematurely pulling baby teeth can also negatively impact the way your child’s adult teeth grow in and their jaw strength. An expedited visit to the tooth fairy just isn’t worth the risk to their oral health! So instead of forcing out a baby tooth that isn’t ready yet, encourage your child to gently wiggle their loose teeth using clean fingers or a clean tissue. Eventually, enough wiggling may cause your child’s tooth to naturally fall out. We recommend only pulling out your child’s tooth if you are sure it is VERY loose and will only take a gentle tug to remove. Do not yank out your child’s tooth, especially with pliers.

We Welcome Patients of All Ages!

Teaching your children to care for their baby teeth at an early age will allow for healthy development of their adult teeth. Establishing positive oral health habits now also increases the likelihood of your children maintaining a healthy mouth for a lifetime. Remember, a healthy mouth means less time and money spent in the dentist’s chair! So don’t forget to schedule twice yearly dental checkups for your whole family to ensure that everyone has a healthy and beautiful smile. We offer dental services for patients of all ages here at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics. Contact us to schedule your appointments today.

Do you have additional questions about how to care for your child's baby teeth? Contact Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics today!

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