Should I pull out my child’s loose tooth?

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Dentist Melbourne
Melbourne's Home of Dentistry

Should-I-pull-out-my-child’s-loose-tooth-300x199Many of us remember getting a little “help” with a loose baby tooth when we were young. It wasn’t uncommon for strings to be tied to teeth and attached to doors (or other objects) to make things move a bit quicker.

But did our parents do the right thing?

The answer is usually, no.

Even when a tooth is the slightest bit loose, pulling it out before it’s ready can damage sensitive gum tissue, and increase the possibility of infection, bleeding and pain.

If a tooth is lost before a permanent tooth is ready to replace it, the surrounding teeth may drift forward or out of their position. This can cause teeth in other areas of the mouth to crowd, or cause large gaps between teeth.

Crowded teeth, or teeth that have drifted may also cause misplacement of the permanent teeth as they erupt. This is referred to as malocclusion, and future orthodontic work may be required to correct the altered position of the teeth and jaw.

Most children begin to lose their primary teeth around five or six years of age, making room for the adult teeth growing behind them.

The best policy for a loose tooth is patience – from both the parent and the child.

Allow your child to play with and gentle wiggle the loose tooth themselves. Children are naturally curious about loose teeth and will often play with it until it falls out on its own.

Parents are sometimes afraid that their child might swallow a tooth that’s ready to come out. If this happens – it’s ok! It’s highly unlikely that problems will occur as teeth are made of natural materials. And because their teeth are so small, it’s very unlikely your child could choke. The only downside may be disappointing the tooth fairy!

Remember: the more ready a tooth is to fall out on it’s own, the lesser the risk of bleeding, pain and risk of infection – leading to less trauma for your child. And we all want our children to be happy and healthy.

If you are concerned about your child’s teeth book an appointment to see one of our specialist paediatric dentist Dr Charmaine Hall. A discussion will soon put your worries to rest.

Call the friendly Smile Solutions reception team today on 13 13 96.

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