What to do with a very loose tooth

Filed under: Big Kids, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

Ellie came home from school one day last week with a dangling tooth. It had been a little wiggly for weeks, but a snack-time apple wrenched it almost completely out of her mouth. But not quite. The tooth was hanging by a thread, easily pushed to a completely horizontal position for the amusement of her friends.

The next day, I packed some tissues and a baggie in her backpack - I was sure that tooth would be coming out any minute now. It didn't. It hung in there for days, making it difficult for her to eat and bothering her at bedtime. I asked her if she would like to me to go ahead and yank it out, but the look of horror on her face made it clear that would not be an option.

My biggest fear was that the tooth would come out unexpectedly and she would swallow it. While swallowing a tooth wouldn't really hurt her, it would sure make retrieving the tooth rather difficult for the 'tooth fairy', who likes to save those baby teeth in a cute little box purchased expressly for that purpose.

The tooth ended up coming out with no assistance from me. But even had she been willing to let me have a go at it, at least one pediatric dentist says that parents shouldn't attempt to pull their children's loose teeth. Because a parent can't really tell how attached the tooth is and how much pulling it will hurt, Dr. Casamassimo suggests letting the kids do the job themselves. Still, I know lots of parents who do assist with tooth pulling. Do you?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.