February 28th is Tooth Fairy Day, and whether or not you believe, this special day serves as a reminder to instill healthy oral health habits in our children. When they learn to take care of their teeth at a young age, children are more likely to have healthy teeth as adults. The Tooth Fairy is a fun way to let them learn about their teeth and how they change throughout life. Of course, some children just want to put a tooth under their pillow so they can have a fun surprise in the morning, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As a parent, you just need to make sure they are being safe about it.

At ZDental we know the question on every parent’s mind this Tooth Fairy Day will be, “Is it safe to pull my child’s loose tooth?” Read on to find the answer, and some helpful tips from the ZDental team.

Loose Teeth in Children

When a child’s baby teeth start to become loose, it’s a sign that their permanent teeth are starting to grow in. It’s an important milestone in a child’s life and something that should be celebrated, perhaps with a special surprise from the Tooth Fairy. Of course, it’s important that you and your child don’t get too excited and rush the process along.

If a tooth is loose, it means the connective tissue attaching it the root is starting to degrade. An eager child may be tempted to pull or wiggle it until it comes out, but this can be unsafe. If too much of the tooth’s connective tissue is severed at once, it can cause excessive bleeding, pain, and gum sensitivity. Your child may also introduce bacteria into the gums by touching a loose tooth with their bare hands. Your job as a parent is to encourage them to let the process happen naturally.

In the case of smaller teeth, like the incisors, it may only take a day or two from the time it becomes loose to the time it is ready to be removed. An absence of pain in the area is a good indicator that it’s safe to remove a baby tooth, especially if it can visibly move without any bleeding. At this stage, your child will likely be able to push the tooth out using their tongue, and this is the safest method.

Larger teeth, like molars can take longer. It could take a week or more before a molar can be removed safely. Again, it’s up to you to reassure your child that this is normal and that they don’t need to help the process along. You don’t need to speed up the process either. A molar will fall out in its own time, so resist the temptation to try the old “tying it to a doorknob” trick. Forcefully removing a molar that isn’t ready will likely result in heavy bleeding and a lot of pain, and it’s really not necessary.

Speak to a Dentist about Your Child’s Loose Teeth

In most cases, your child’s teeth will start becoming loose around age 6 and most of them will fall out by age 7. Consulting with your dentist during this time is a good idea. Visiting a dentist can ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and that their permanent teeth are growing in correctly. They can also spot issues like crowding, bite irregularities, and impacted teeth as early as possible. If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at ZDental for any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s teeth. Our 7 locations make it easy for you to find a clinic that’s close to home!

Visit our contact page and find the clinic that is most convenient for you and call or schedule online any time you need an affordable dentist in Philadelphia or anywhere else in the area.