Before you tie a string between your child’s loose tooth and a doorknob, read this. It might make the tooth pulling process a bit easier.
Though it’s best to let baby teeth fall out on their own as part of the natural growth process, there are some easy ways to aid the procedure if your little one (or you) is a bit impatient.
Things to know before pulling:
-Pulling teeth too early can increase the chances of bleeding or infected gums. It can, however, reduce discomfort as well as the possibility of accidently swallowing a dangling tooth.
-Kids have dirty hands. If you allow them to wiggle their tooth, be sure that they do so with clean hands or with their tongue.
-Make sure the gum area looks healthy before attempting to pull the tooth. If there appears to be any decay or infection, it may need to be properly removed by a dentist.
-If any wiggling causes a large amount of blood, the tooth is not ready to come out. Let it naturally loosen a bit longer.
Methods of pulling teeth:
-Encourage your child to pull their own teeth. You can’t know for sure what levels of pain they are experiencing. Plus, they are the best judges of how loose the tooth is. To secure a grip on the tooth, give them a piece of gauze or tissue to wrap around it. If they are sure that it is time for pulling and would like your assistance, feel free to give them a hand by wrapping the gauze and gently pulling in the same manner. Be sure to respond to any signs of pain or nervousness.
-Try feeding them foods which teeth can get stuck in. Corn on the cob, apples and pears for example are a few suggestions. If the tooth is loose enough, it very well might just pop out into the food. You can also treat your child to an ice lolly, which can help numb pain.
-Wait it out. If the tooth is not causing any pain, annoyance or complications to your child, it is fine to leave alone for a longer period of time. There is no reason to force it out if it is not causing problems.
After you pull a tooth:
-Have your child gently swoosh around warm salt water in their mouth and spit. This will help remove blood and aid the healing process. Doing so too vigorously can disrupt healing.
-Apply some gauze to the area if it is bleeding. Have them hold it in place by biting on it with light pressure for about 15 minutes. If bleeding persists for a long period of time, call the dentist.
-Use an ice pack to reduce and numb pain. Try using a bag of ice, frozen vegetables, or a bag of frozen dish soap wrapped in a cloth.
-Do not let your child drink from a straw for 24 hours. Straws can cause any blood clots to come loose.
Photo Credit: erizof (Flickr)