We know it’s an exciting time for little ones when their teeth start falling out — especially if they can look forward to a visit from the tooth fairy. Children usually start losing teeth around the age of 5, and they’ll definitely let you know (and anyone else around) as soon as one of their teeth becomes loose. It can be tempting to go ahead and pull a loose tooth that doesn’t seem to want to come out on its own, but your children’s dentist in Framingham advises against forcing it. Keep reading to learn why Dr. Fried advises letting nature take its course.
To Pull or Not to Pull?
Each of the baby (or primary) teeth will become loose when the permanent tooth behind it is ready to come in. Pulling a loose tooth prematurely can cause the natural teeth that surround the new gap to drift over and affect the alignment of the child’s bite.
Additionally, removing the tooth before it is really ready to come out is likely to cause some amount of discomfort for your child, as it may take some force to separate the tooth from its root and the bone/gum tissue. Bleeding is likely to occur as well, and the open wound can leave your little one at risk of developing infection in the socket.
Let Nature Take Its Course
Your little one will probably enthusiastically wiggle a loose tooth until it comes out on its own. Only he or she can tell if the tooth is ready to come out — anything else will cause too much discomfort for them to do on their own. So while you may feel like it’s best to intervene and just pull the tooth, it’s in your child’s best interest to let them take the wheel and work the loose tooth out on their own time.
When to Visit the Dentist
However, there may come a time when you need to visit the dentist to aid in the development of your child’s smile. The teeth should fall out in the same order that they came in. That means the bottom two teeth will go first, then the top two, followed by those that surround them. If you suspect your child’s tooth is loose due to a fall or injury or if they are losing their teeth out of sequence, contact your dentist immediately. Irregular tooth loss can leave your little one at risk of infection, pain, or developing orthodontic issues that will need to be treated with braces later.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Fried is a general dentist providing comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. To discuss your child’s smile or to schedule an appointment for you or a loved one, you are invited to contact your dentist in Framingham at 508-872-9339.