Losing baby teeth is an important milestone for little ones and their parents too! The exciting moment of that first wiggle, the constant urge to see it finally fall out, and especially the sweet gap left in a missing tooth’s place. But between the itching soreness sensation and difficulty chewing, sometimes it seems like a baby tooth needs a little extra help to fall out. But, of course, slamming a door closed with a string attached to the knob and the tooth is certainly not the safest way to go about it. So, here are our tips for how to pull a loose baby tooth, safely, and with as little pain as possible. Read on for a bite-sized guide on how to pull baby teeth, safely and painlessly!

Knowing When

If your little one has been wiggling their own tooth, chances are, it is about ready to come out. Losing baby teeth typically starts happening at around age five or six. Of course, the best case scenario is letting the teeth fall out when they’re ready, when the process is relatively simple, quick, and painless. But sometimes teeth can be stubborn. So, encourage your child to keep on wiggling that tooth back and forth, as long as it doesn’t hurt, to help loosen the tooth and make it easier to fall out. Once it is really wiggling, it should be just about time to help pull the tooth out. 

Being Supportive

Of course, the fear of pain and blood can be daunting for young kids (and even adults)! So, be sure to talk to your child about how they are feeling and walk them through any concerns they might have. Make sure they are willing and ready to pull the tooth out before getting started. It can be especially helpful to ask your child if they would feel more comfortable pulling the tooth themself or if they would prefer you help them. Honoring their wishes can be a beautiful part of fostering their growth and independence.

Pulling Teeth

One of the most important aspects of how to pull a loose baby tooth correctly is ensuring safety for your little one. That means no wild methods — looking at you door knobs and toasters! And always, always make sure any hands or materials used are clean and safe. So, to begin, wash those hands, yours and your child’s. Then, start by grabbing a clean piece of gauze from your first aid kid and wet it with cool water. Once you have secured the tooth in your fingers, grip, turn a little, and pull quickly. If wiggling and pulling the tooth loose simply isn’t working, try using dental floss to move around both sides of the tooth and even up between the teeth and gums to try to put some extra pressure on the top of the tooth. 

Avoiding Pain

If it feels like pulling teeth to get your little one to let you pull out that loose tooth, or to get the tooth to actually come out, it is probably best to explore other options. We get it, the potential for pain is scary and removing a tooth can be downright difficult! So, to truly minimize pain (physical and emotional) as much as possible, the best method is to visit a pediatric dentist. They know exactly how to pull a loose tooth without pain. This can be especially worthwhile for baby teeth that simply don’t want to get lost. A dentist can use their professional expertise to pull correctly, safely, and even use a mild anesthetic so the process is painless!

Cleaning Up

If the tooth was ready to come out, there is unlikely to be a lot of bleeding, but sometimes there can be a little more blood than expected. Always use clean gauze and apply pressure on the area until the bleeding subsides. Be sure to check for any broken bits of tooth and monitor pain and redness. If you have any concerns, or if your child continues to experience pain or inflammation, visit your pediatric dentist as soon as possible to get checked in case of an infection. It is always a good idea to keep your pediatrician in the loop so that they can help advise you on best hygiene practices, avoiding infection, and managing pain. 

At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are here to help your family with all your little one’s health related needs, from their teeth to their tiny toes. For further guidance on how to pull a loose baby tooth, or any other questions you might have, talk to your passionate Coastal Kids pediatrician. To make an appointment visit us at www.coastalkids.com