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It is tempting to help a child with a wiggly or loose tooth by pulling it- but should you? When your child has loose teeth, pulling them out prematurely can cause undue pain and bleeding. Have you pulled on a tooth before it was ready to come out? You can reduce your discomfort with these tips: 

  • Avoiding hot food or drinks. 
  • Eating only soft foods for a day or so. 
  • Brush gingerly or not at all near the site of discomfort for a week. 
  • Rinse your mouth periodically with saltwater or oral rinse.  
  • Manage pain with over-the-counter medications, as needed.  

People start losing their 20 baby teeth around age six to make way for the 32 adult teeth that will come in later.  

So, should you let your child pull a loose tooth? Here is what you should know: 

Loose Teeth 

Losing baby teeth is a normal and natural part of childhood. Generally, the first baby teeth to come in are the first ones to become loose. When your child begins to wiggle a loose tooth- typically around age six or seven- it is a major milestone! It is best to allow the tooth to come out naturally and not force it out just to get a visit from the tooth fairy! Make sure that your child is hitting their dental milestones with regular visits to your family dentist 

Pulling a Loose Tooth 

The best approach to a loose baby tooth is to allow it to come out on its own, though this may be tough to do. The site will bleed more and could be painful if the tooth is forced out too soon. Plus, it could cause a nasty infection. As the adult tooth under gum starts to erupt or break through, the baby tooth will be gradually pushed out. It may take a couple weeks for a wiggly tooth to come out on its own, but it’s worth the wait.   

Use a sterile gauze pad when wiggling or checking on a loose tooth. Also, rinse well with saltwater afterward to prevent germs.  

Tooth Trauma 

If your child sustains an injury to a baby tooth, see your dentist to ensure there is no potential teeth damage or risk of infection. If a tooth becomes loose due to an accident, it is advised that you do not try to loosen it or pull it out.  

If an injury is sustained to a permanent tooth, it is imperative that you see a dental provider for evaluation right away. 

Got a loose tooth? If it is an adult tooth, see your dental provider at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC, right away. Your teeth are intended to last a lifetime; take care to ensure that your teeth are healthy and strong. Call or visit to schedule an appointment today.