Getting loose teeth is a rite of passage for any growing child. When the pearly whites finally comes out, children will excitedly show parents, and tuck it under a pillow. However, those final days before the tooth finally breaks free from the gums can be a bit trying for both kids and parents. If your little one has a tooth that’s stubbornly holding on, here are some steps you can take to get your child to pull that tooth out on their own so the new one can safely grow in.
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Make it Fun with Floss
Kids of any age enjoy seeing things fly across the room, and you can promise them some airborne action with this clever trick. If the tooth is hanging on by a tiny thread, or just sheer stubbornness, then break out some dental floss.
Loop it behind the tooth in question so it has floss on all sides. Your child can then grab the strings from the front and quickly pull them across each other. The tooth will come flying out, and you’ll get to enjoy a quick game of search-for-the-tooth.
The Wiggle Waggle Game
Another way to make things fun is by introducing a game. This could be where your child uses a finger or tongue to dance the tooth around in the socket. See how fast or how long they can do it. The more they wiggle it around, the more it will loosen up and prepare to fall out. Tell kids to stop playing with the tooth whenever it become painful, but it won’t take too long to release with constant, steady movement.
Most kids love apples, and the tough meat of this fruit is perfect for pulling out loose teeth. If your son or daughter is anxious to get the tooth out of the way, then cut up an apple. Tell him to chew slowly so they will know when the tooth finally comes loose. This way, you can save the molar or incisor from being swallowed. Pears are also a good choice, as are most crunchy, hard foods.
Good, Old-Fashioned Bribery
Depending on how annoying the stage of this loose tooth has become, you may decide to resort to bribery. If your child has been begging to go somewhere special or get a little toy, then you might promise to grant their wish just as soon as the stubborn tooth comes out. This could be enough enticement for your child to let you help with the extraction.
Patience is a virtue, and you can also encourage your child to simply wait for nature to take its course. This is the best choice when the tooth is a little wiggly, but doesn’t seem to be completely ready to come out. The roots will gradually erode, so the tooth will become easier to work with in time.
There may come a point where professional intervention is required. In some cases, an adult tooth may be coming in before the baby tooth has fallen out. If the permanent one is moving out of position because there’s still a baby tooth in the way, then you may want to make an appointment with a family dentist or your local area. The professionals can numb the area and the safely pull the tooth to make room for the new growth.
Whether your child has lost several teeth or this one is a new experience, it’s important to keep an eye on overall dental health. Children should only be encouraged to pull a tooth that’s sufficiently loose. As long as the tooth isn’t painful, turning into a serious distraction, or in the way of new teeth, it can generally be ignored. However, if it’s reached that point and your child is ready for it to be out, then try a few of these tricks to help your little one move things along.