image001When a child loses that first tooth, there is a cause for celebration! But sometimes teeth don’t fall out as easily as we might hope. Pulling out baby teeth is a big question for parents who wonder if it might hurt their child. Some parents are afraid a child might swallow the tooth if they lose it while eating, and some children might be very impatient for the tooth to come out. But many kids are afraid to have a tooth pulled for fear of the pain. The good news is that if the tooth is truly ready to come out, pulling it can be absolutely painless.

When Will Children Start Losing Baby Teeth?

Children typically begin losing their baby teeth around the age of six, and it usually begins with the incisors, or the teeth in the very front of the mouth. As the larger adult teeth begin to grow, the roots of baby teeth are reabsorbed, leaving them held on by nothing but a little bit of connective tissue. As the process happens, the baby teeth become looser.

A child will often wind up removing the teeth simply by playing with them–pressing their tongue against the loose tooth or rocking it back and forth with their fingers. Often the tooth will simply fall out without any pain, turning into a pleasant surprise for the child. But if the tooth seems to hang around for several weeks, you might be able to help it along by grasping it with a tissue, then giving it a quick twist. This might result in a tiny bit of pain that goes away almost immediately, soon replaced by relief!

This video gives you more information on when baby teeth fall out:

When Can You Start Pulling Out Baby Teeth?

It is always best to allow baby teeth to fall out on their own. When your child shows you a loose tooth, encourage him or her to work it with their tongue on a regular basis to loosen it up more. Most kids are more than happy to do this. But if it seems like it won’t happen on its own, you can help the process along. Using a tissue or a soft cloth, squeeze the tooth and move it back and forth. If you feel a lot of resistance, it’s not ready to be pulled yet. But if it feels as though it is just hanging by a thread of tissue, or is so loose that you are surprised it hasn’t come out yet, you can likely pull it with just a quick twist or jerk.

Pulling Out Baby Teeth—How Can You Do It Painlessly?



Rub a little oral analgesic on the gum

Start by rubbing a little oral analgesic on the area around the tooth and allow it a few moments to numb the area. You could also give your child a dose of pain medication before you pull the tooth, especially if your child is nervous about it.

Wiggle the tooth with a clean tissue

Using a clean tissue or some gauze, you can wiggle the tooth back and forth to make sure it is ready to come out. It should offer very little resistance when you move it around.

Gently pull the tooth

If it is ready to come out, this part should take very little time at all. The tooth should easily come off when you pull. If it does not, it might not be ready to come out yet.

Press your child’s gum

You might see some bleeding at the place where the tooth was anchored. Using a clean gauze pad, you should apply pressure to that area. Distract your child from the blood by congratulating them on the loss of a tooth and let them see the tooth that will soon be handed over to the “tooth fairy”.

Examine the gum

When the bleeding has stopped, examine the gums to make sure there are no fragments of the baby tooth stuck in there. In most cases, the area will be perfectly clean, and you might even see the top of the adult tooth ready to come through!

Important Notes:

  • Let your child do it

Though it might be very tempting to pull a baby tooth, keep in mind that if you can let your child do it, that’s even better. That’s because a child can assess just how much it hurts to pull the tooth, and they can tell just how loose it is. A child who pulls their own tooth will be able to do it much more painlessly than you could.

  • See a dentist if you are still concerned

If you have any concerns about the way the teeth are coming out, or worries about how the adult teeth are coming in, check with your dentist to make sure there are no problems.

What Can You Do to Deal With Complications of Pulling out Baby Teeth?

1. Use a Gauze Pad to Stop Bleeding

Sometimes complications can develop when pulling out baby teeth. In most cases, the only complications will be a bit of bleeding, which will be over quickly. Use a gauze pad and apply pressure to help the bleeding stop faster.

2. Visit a Dentist If Fragments of a Tooth Are Left Behind

You might find that there are fragments of a tooth left behind. In that case, it is a good idea to visit the dentist. Don’t try to remove these fragments on your own, as they might be embedded in the gums and could cause serious pain for your child.

3. Keep Watching for a While

Anytime there is an opening in the body, such as the small tears in the gum from losing a tooth, infection can occur. Though this is very rare, keep watching for it after a tooth has fallen out. If you see any redness the next day, or if your child is complaining of pain, it’s time to see the dentist to ensure there is nothing wrong with your child’s mouth.

But keep in mind that in most cases, losing a tooth is actually very easy, and once your child loses that first tooth–the others follow quickly!