There are a lot of things first-time moms worry about their child’s oral health, but perhaps the most common is the one that’s simple at first glance: loose tooth. Should you pull it out? Should you not? When should you take it to the dentist? As with other things about your kid’s health, the answer depends. It depends on the root cause of the issue.
When Primary Teeth Fall Out
Baby teeth naturally fall out around the age of 6 or 7. The roots of the primary teeth dissolve as the permanent start to emerge. Usually, the first ones to be out are those that came in first. So expect the front teeth to be loose way before the rest. In most cases, there’s no need to go to the dentist to get milk teeth out. But it’s strongly advisable to have your child remove them. Only your kid knows for sure how loose (or connected, still) the tooth is to the gums and how much force they can bear without hurting themselves. If you do it yourself, you might injure them.
So how do you help them pull it out? A kids’ dentist in Lehi recommends telling them to use their tongue to wiggle the tooth out. Prevent them from using their hands because they could unintentionally use too much pressure. Plus, you can’t always guarantee the cleanest of hands in children, can you? They might introduce bacteria and nasty stuff to their mouth. Once the tooth comes out, there should be very little blood. If the gums start to bleed though, have your child bite down on a damp gauze until the bleeding stops.
When Injury Happens
In other instances, it’s not the natural falling out of primary teeth that make the pearly whites loose. Sometimes, it’s due to dental injuries. Perhaps your child plays sports, and they suffered a severe blow to the face. Or they have a habit of chewing ice, pencils, or hard candies. These can make the teeth loose all the same, or in worse cases, completely get them out. When this happens, you need to take your child to the dentist. Other than a loose tooth, they could be suffering from a chipped or cracked tooth, which can be very painful when they bite down on food or hot or cold meals. There’s also the possibility of inner teeth structures being exposed and at risk for bacterial infections, which would make the problem worse.
What do you do when your child suffers from a loose tooth after an injury? Similar to what’s advised above, put a wet gauze on the site of bleeding gums. This will not just stop the blood, but also support the fragile tooth. Let them suck an ice cube also to reduce the pain and swelling. In the event of a knocked-out tooth, try to put back the tooth in its socket after rinsing the tooth with milk. Avoid scrubbing. If it can’t be brought back in place, place the tooth in a glass of milk, until you can get to the dentist. Seek professional help immediately after giving first-aid to the injury.
The Loose Tooth
Again, the question of what to do with your child’s loose tooth depends on the reason it happened in the first place. If it’s due to natural causes, let your child take care of it. If it’s due to facial trauma, give first aid, and take your child to the dentist.