So your child came to you with a wiggly baby tooth, and now you’re wondering what to do. Should you wait and let nature take its course, or should you use many of the tooth-pulling methods you know to get things over with?
Well, that generally depends on how loose the tooth is. Check out this short article to learn more.
After a baby tooth falls out, the adult one is quick to erupt and take its place. But how does the process actually work?
Well, even before the baby tooth starts to loosen, the adult one is planning to erupt by slowly dissolving the baby tooth root. The more it does so, the more the tooth wiggles, to the point where it’s only held in place by the gums and will quickly fall out.
This process can take around six months on average. As a general rule, it’s best to allow the tooth to fall out on its own, since this will also signal that the adult tooth is ready to take its place. Premature baby tooth loss can lead to other oral health issues down the line, such as alignment problems.
A baby tooth that’s genuinely ready to fall out won’t hurt or cause a lot of bleeding; remember, it doesn’t have a root anymore, and it’s only held in place by the gums.
So if you try to gently wiggle the tooth and the child complains about pain or sensitivity, it’s best to leave that tooth alone for the time being. It’s not ready to fall out yet. You can encourage the child to gently wiggle it with their tongue to help the process along but don’t try to pull out the tooth by yourself.
Sometimes, a baby tooth can be a bit more stubborn and not fall out when the time comes for the adult one to take its place. You may even notice the adult tooth trying to make an appearance, leading to a condition known as shark teeth.
But it’s nothing to worry about. You can take your child to a pediatric dentist if this happens, and they will help extract the baby tooth. The child’s mouth will be numbed with an anesthetic to ensure they don’t feel pain during the process. Most likely, the tooth’s root is completely dissolved, but it’s firmly held by the gums.
If your child has a loose tooth and you’re not sure if you should pull it out or not, come meet with Dr. Matthew Gustafsson to put your mind at ease!
Request a visit to Truckee Pediatric Dentistry online or call our office at (530) 550-9311 today.