Your child’s primary teeth should begin to fall out by the time he reaches age 6 or 7, according to the American Dental Association. Over the next five or six years, your youngster will gradually lose all his baby teeth, and new, permanent teeth will replace them. If a baby tooth needs a little coaxing to come out and your child asks for help, give him some pain-free assistance to remove the tooth.
Wash your hands with soap and water. Ask your child to open her mouth to enable you to see and touch the tooth. Wiggle it gently with your finger to assess its degree of looseness.
Give your child your opinion about whether the tooth is ready to come out, based on what you observed in his mouth. If the tooth appears to be significantly attached with roots and does not seem loose enough to remove painlessly, advise your child that pulling it at this time will cause both pain and bleeding. Encourage your child to put off pulling it and continue wiggling it to make it looser. If the tooth seems loose enough — just hanging by a thread of root — it’s likely ready to come out without more than a few seconds of discomfort and minimal bleeding.
Suggest some independent ways your child can loosen a tooth and encourage it to fall out. Brushing teeth several times a day can be an effective way to make a tooth looser. You might also suggest that your child eat a crunchy apple to help work his tooth loose.
Show your child the piece of gauze and tell her that if she wants it pulled, it’s necessary to wrap the gauze around her tooth and give it a little twist to remove it.
Place the gauze around your child’s tooth if he wants to pull the tooth out. Help your child grasp the tooth firmly through the gauze. Suggest that your youngster move the tooth gently before actually twisting it to enable him to feel any pain associated with moving the tooth. As long as your child feels little or no pain and wants to proceed, tell him that whenever he’s ready, he should twist the tooth quickly to pull it out, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Place a clean piece of gauze into the gap in your child’s mouth to stop any bleeding. Help your child rinse his mouth out after the bleeding stops.
Things You’ll Need
See your dentist if you have any concerns about the way your child’s primary teeth are coming out or permanent teeth are coming in.
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