Waiting For The Tooth Fairy: What To Do When Your Child Has A Loose Tooth

10 June 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Your child may be excited to lose a primary tooth, otherwise known as a baby tooth. After all, the tooth fairy is leaving an average of $4.36 per tooth. Who knew losing teeth could be so lucrative? Yet, although both you and your child may be in a hurry to get that tooth out, you will want to follow these guidelines:

Wiggle It

While it's tempting to yank out a tooth, this option will likely cause bleeding and pain. Furthermore, if the tooth comes out too early, this doesn't give the tooth's root enough time to dissolve which can increase the risk of infection.

For this reason, it's better to encourage children to wiggle the tooth around with clean fingers or their tongue. If the tooth is extremely loose or hanging on by a single tissue thread, you can use a clean, damp gauze pad to gently twist it out. If it doesn't come out easily, you should leave it alone for a few more days.

Manage Pain

To help manage pain, you can give your child acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or topical analgesics. If your child is afraid of chewing, you can also give him or her softer foods like soup and applesauce. If your child's loose tooth is extremely uncomfortable, or if the gum area is swollen, you should see a pediatric dentist for some professional care.

Encourage Proper Oral Care

Although some children may be afraid of pain, remind kids that proper oral care is still important for loose teeth, and the ones that surround it. After all, tooth decay in baby teeth can harm the permanent teeth developing underneath them. For this reason, have your child continue to brush and floss twice a day.  

Don't Worry if You See Double

In some cases, your child's permanent teeth may come in before the baby teeth fall out, a condition known as shark teeth. The presence of the permanent teeth should help dissolve the roots of the baby teeth. However, if your child has two rows of pearly whites for more than three months, it's time to see a dentist who can extract the baby tooth.  If the new tooth doesn't have enough room to move into the empty space, your children's dentist may reduce the width of the adjacent teeth, a process called disking.

Children have 20 baby teeth. By the time they are 12 or 13, they will have likely lost all of their primary teeth and be on their way to a full set of permanent teeth. Contact a company like Southridge Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about your child's teeth.