Whether or not a child believes in the Tooth Fairy, losing baby teeth is an important part of growing up. Some children find wiggly teeth exciting, while others face this rite of passage with a little more trepidation.
YouTube is full of how to pull a tooth “suggestions” by parents who have chosen some interesting methods to pull baby teeth. The latest addition to this category is the dad who removed his son’s tooth using a golf ball, dental floss, and a driver. Since it was posted on December 30, 2014, it has received more than 850,000 views. Here it is:
Other videos of parents removing their kids’ baby teeth with less than conventional methods include the use of a rocket, a NERF dart gun, and of course, the familiar dental-floss-on-the-doorknob method.
What is the best method to remove a loose baby tooth?
Is it best to let it fall out on its own or pull it out? What’s the best way to pull it out? You may not be surprised to hear that while these amusing videos may be fun to watch, we do not advise our patients to pull a child’s baby tooth using any sort of prop or with dental floss or string.
The Chicago Dental Society polled more than 300 dental professionals and asked for their suggestions on how to safely and effectively remove baby teeth. We think these suggestions are very practical and will work just fine.
From the Chicago Dental Society (full article here):
Loosen the tooth. Use firm, gentle pressure to wiggle and twist the tooth. Chewing on firm foods like apples can help in removing the tooth.
Numb the tooth. Use a topical anesthetic such as Orajel to numb the area. Popsicles, ice cubes or even a cold rag will also help eliminate pain and discomfort.
Be careful with tools. Avoid the old “floss and doorknob” method, which might scare children or catch them off guard. Instead, use a small amount of gauze and your fingers to pull a tooth. Dentists may use small forceps.
Use a distraction. Talk to the child about their interests or simply encourage them to focus on something else. Count to “three” and pull it on “two.” Oftentimes, the tooth is out before they even know it.
Encourage the child to do it themselves. Depending on the child’s age and looseness of their tooth, Chicago Dental Society’s members agreed that it’s best for a child to pull the tooth themselves. They know their own tolerance for pain and will most likely wiggle it out on their own!