When your child’s tooth literally hangs by a thread, you may be tempted to test out the notorious “string on a doorknob” method. Rest assured there are less intimidating, not to mention safer methods to remove a very loose tooth at home.
The first and simplest is to wait it out. A dangling tooth can be a big distraction while talking and eating. With a little time, however, the remaining connective tissue will give way on its own. In the meanwhile, encourage your little one to eat without worrying. Biting on food often does the trick – without any pain.
For a loose tooth that needs a bit more convincing, wiggling it around won’t hurt. In fact, the dentist encourages it! Having your child fiddle with her loose tooth throughout the day will help make the tooth even looser, and before too long, detach altogether.
On some occasions, it may make sense to remove a loose tooth manually – by this time, the tooth is almost completely detached already, though your little one may be afraid to touch it. The process should take no more than a few seconds. Wash your hands and try to dry the tooth with a napkin or towel; you want the best grip possible and not let saliva make it slip out of your hands. Pinch the loose tooth between your fingers and twist it out in one smooth motion. At this point, there should be no resistance or bleeding from the tooth and your child should feel nothing except relief.
If you have any doubts or find yourselves playing the waiting game too long, don’t hesitate to go to your pediatric dentist for help. Oftentimes there are occasions when loose baby teeth won’t come out on their own and will need to be pulled at the dentist’s office.
Worried about a strange baby tooth? Check out our post, “Is that Normal? Two-Headed Baby Teeth and More.”