Should You Ever Extract a Child’s Tooth at Home?

Oct 15, 2021

Do you remember how excited you were to have a visit from the tooth fairy? Did you ever wait up at night to try to catch them? All that excitement and fuss over a little lost tooth. Now that you have children of your own, you’re on the other side of things. Losing a tooth as a child is something of a right of passage. If your child comes to you about a loose tooth, should you ever pull it yourself?

Best Case Scenario: Leave It Alone

The best thing to do with a loose tooth is really to just leave it alone. Most of the time teeth will fall out on their own when they are supposed to. Of course, they may have a little help from your child too. Teeth that are getting ready to fall out get very loose. It can be tough for children to resist the temptation to push at it with their tongues or prod it with their fingers. As an adult, however, it’s best to resist the urge to do something about it yourself. Let it come out on its own.

Maybe, If:

If your child is bothered by their loose, wiggly tooth, then there may be a case for you lending a gentle helping hand. If the tooth in question is on schedule to be lost, and if it’s very, very loose, it may be okay for you to help it along. You can use a clean ice pack on the gum to help numb it. With clean hands and a clean tissue, piece of gauze, or paper towel, grip the tooth. Quickly and gently twist it. It should fall out after a couple of twists. If it takes more, leave it alone. It’s not ready.

Definitely Don’t If: 

On the other hand, some situations mean that you shouldn’t pull the tooth yourself. If the tooth is only a little loose, leave it alone. If there are signs of infection, leave it alone. If there was an accident, injury, or dental problem that caused the tooth to loosen, leave it alone. If your child is under age 5, you guessed it. Leave it alone. Go see a dentist instead.

Figuring out the best course of action when your child comes to you saying that they have a loose tooth sounds like it should be pretty straightforward, but there is some nuance. Ideally, it’s best to leave it alone, though there are some circumstances under which it might be okay to give the tooth a little encouragement. If you’re ever in doubt, call your child’s dentist and ask. Remember, better safe than sorry.

Sometimes a loose tooth happens because of a dental emergency. If you find yourself facing a dental emergency, seek Emergency Dental Care for your child immediately.