We’ve all been there and done that – but what exactly do you do when you’re the parent and your child comes running to you, asking you to end the nuisance that is a loose tooth? According to Madison Family Dental Associates, the general answer is to leave it be.
When a tooth becomes loose, it means the adult tooth is on its way – that is the time when the baby tooth’s root begins to dissolve itself (hence, the loosening of it). If the root hasn’t dissolved enough yet, yanking the tooth prematurely could cause some trauma to your child’s gum. Madison Family Dental Associates recommends asking your child to use his or her tongue to gauge how much wiggle space the tooth has. Just don’t fall trap to old wives’ tales such as tying a string around it and attaching it to a doorknob before slamming the door!
In the meantime, you can encourage your child to continue wiggling their tooth to loosen it further, including brushing their teeth several times a day or eating an apple or anything crunchy. If it is indeed very loose and it’s causing your child discomfort, make sure your hands are washed and clean before wiggling the tooth back and forth with a tissue. All you’ll need then is a little twist for it to pop out. Immediately apply pressure to the area with a gauze pad should bleeding occur – though it should stop within a few minutes. Lastly, do a quick check that no baby tooth remnants were left behind!