For most children, their baby teeth begin to fall out around the age of 6 or 7. However, baby teeth may fall out early as a result of tooth decay (cavities).
Now the question is, is it safe to pull out your child’s teeth at home? What about the side effects? Can it lead to complications?
Read on to find out more.
Extracting Your Child’s Tooth at Home, According To a Specialist Doctor
It is a common practice for parents to extract their children’s loose tooth.
According to Dr. Stella Lesmana, a pediatric dentist, it is okay if parents attempt to pull a child’s loose tooth as long as it is not forced.
There is a myth that says that pulling a tooth at home might cause blindness, which is not true,
If you are still unsure about pulling your child’s tooth out at home, simply let a professional dentist do the work for you.
Pulling a child’s tooth early can lead to the risk of dental complications or bleeding.
The best thing to do with a loose tooth is to let nature take its course and wait until your child’s tooth falls out on its own. If your child is ready to lose the tooth, encourage them to wiggle it with the tongue slowly. Do not forget to continue to monitor your child by asking them if they experience tooth pain or gum pain.
When to See a Dentist for Tooth Extraction?
There are certain conditions that require a dentist’s expertise for a tooth extraction, such as:
- Your child complains of tooth pain. This may be due to swelling of the gums. Your child loses appetite and has insomnia. If the pain persists, it will interfere with your child’s daily activities. It is recommended that you seek immediate dental care for further treatment.
- Permanent teeth start growing. Permanent teeth are the opposite of baby teeth that grow temporarily. When permanent teeth start growing and the milk teeth do not fall out yet – this will cause pain and discomfort when chewing food. This condition must be treated by a dentist with proper equipment.
Tips For Pain-Free Loose Tooth Removal
If this is your first time pulling your child’s tooth at home, you may be confused since you have no idea on the “dos and don’ts”. It is better to think it through before deciding to pull your child’s tooth.
When the permanent teeth begin to grow, the roots of the baby teeth will dissolve until they are loose and can fall out naturally with less pain and a little blood. However, tooth extraction is not as easy as you might expect. We recommend that you wait until the child’s teeth are ready to fall out naturally.
Here are some tips to help you remove your child’s tooth at home:
- Slowly wiggle your child’s tooth until it eventually comes out. Ask your child to use their tongue or index finger to gently wiggle the loose tooth. Make sure your child does not apply too much force to the tooth or it may hurt.
- Chew on hard foods. Have your child chew on carrots, apples, or pears. The goal is to make the entire tooth loosening process quick and painless. A loose tooth can fall out without pain when the child is chewing food. Make sure that the loose tooth is not accidentally swallowed.
- Use a toothbrush. You can also use a toothbrush to help remove a loose tooth without pain. When brushing, move the brush up and down to rub each side of the loose tooth make it fall out.
- Use gauze. Make use of gauze to remove your child’s loose tooth in an easy and sterile process. If you think that the tooth is not loose enough, ask your child to slightly wiggle it while holding the tooth with gauze. This way, the tooth will be ready to fall out painlessly.
If you are unable to successfully remove your child’s tooth, do not force and pull the child’s tooth on purpose, as this will be painful and pose other risks.
Even if you are tempted to immediately pull out a loose tooth – do not do it. Instead, consult a paediatric dentist to get the right treatment.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After your child’s tooth is successfully removed, immediately rinse his or her mouth with water to clean out the oral cavity from blood. Your child may feel scared and anxious after seeing blood.
Reassure your child that tooth loss is normal and a part of growing up.
Losing a baby tooth should encourage your child to take better care of his/her teeth. Encourage your children to brush their teeth twice a day like adults. If your child is under the age of 10, make sure they use a soft toothbrush and gently brush their sensitive teeth.
Risks of DIY Tooth Extraction
Children may show symptoms of complications after their milk tooth is pulled out. Your child may experience pain, tenderness, discomfort, and bleeding. Additionally, your child may also have gum infection.
According to the U.S National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine, some of the complications that may arise after pulling your child’s tooth out are:
- Gum infection.
- Tooth decay.
- Damaged bone that supports the teeth
- Bleeding or swollen gums (gingivitis).
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
To keep your child’s teeth healthy, here are daily dental care tips that you can practice:
- Brush teeth twice a day. Brushing teeth in the morning and before bed with fluoridated toothpaste helps prevent cavities in children. For newborns, gently wipe the gums with a damp cloth to maintain oral hygiene. For children under 3 years old, simply apply a pea-sized toothpaste on the toothbrush. Monitor your child to make sure they brush all sides of their teeth properly.
- Pay attention to what your child eats. What your child eats and drinks can affect their dental health. Carbonated drinks are high in sugar and acid. Also limit the consumption of sweet treats such as cookies, candy, and sweet chocolate. Frequent snacking on foods and drinks high in sugar can cause tooth decay.
- Get a regular dental check-up. Once you see your baby’s first tooth, immediately visit the dentist for a checkup. The dentist can tell you whether your child has plaque or cavities, when the next tooth will come out, and how to properly care for your child’s teeth.