You shouldn't pull out a baby tooth with floss

Everyone's heard of the trick to take out a baby tooth by tying some floss to it and yanking it out.

I don't recommend you do this. If it is that difficult to remove, it is not ready yet.

Model teeth with floss tied to it

Recently, someone came to see me after they had done this to their child. The child said the gums felt "itchy" even though it was 2-3 weeks since they had done it. I had a look and it appeared that the gums had been damaged. It probably got ripped during the uncontrolled and forceful removal of the baby tooth. It didn't require any treatment but was unnecessary discomfort for the child.

It is much better to let your child play try to wobble the tooth out themselves or let it fall out naturally. If it is still pretty strong and giving your child discomfort, it will be much safer to have your dentist remove it. Sometimes a tooth can be comfortably removed with only topical anesthetic, instead of an injection.

Besides a tooth being wobbly, there are other reasons why a baby tooth should be taken out by a dentist.

When a dentist takes a tooth out, it is done with controlled and gradual application of force. Sudden forces will either snap a root, break bone or tear gums.

If you do have some concern with your child's teeth, it is best to consult with your dentist. If there is a a severe emergency, call emergency services.

Here's another post about when baby teeth fall out

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