When Should I Pull Out a Loose Tooth?

When is it safe to pull out a loose tooth?

Having a loose tooth can often be uncomfortable and inconvenient for a child. It makes it difficult to eat, and some people become worried that the child might swallow it in the middle of the night. However, it is generally best to allow the tooth to come out on its own, rather than yank it out prematurely.

Firstly, it’s important to be mindful of how delicate a child’s mouth is. When you reach in to remove a tooth, it’s difficult to avoid damaging his or her gum tissues. Only the child can know for sure how painful it is to force the tooth out, so it’s important to allow him or her to judge the situation.

Though it’s possible that your child may end up swallowing a loose tooth, this is really nothing to worry about. Teeth are small enough to usually pass harmlessly from your system.

The only time you should consider helping a loose tooth along is when the permanent tooth begins to emerge underneath it. There is some risk that the new tooth will come in crooked if its way isn’t clear. Should this become a concern for you, talk to our Issaquah dentist to make sure that it is extracted properly.

When Should Children Begin Brushing On Their Own?

It can be difficult to know when your child should begin brushing by himself or herself. While it is important for a child to develop proper dental care habits at an early age, proper brushing requires a level of fine motor skills and an understanding that may be beyond your little ones. So, how do you get your children started brushing?

Early on, it is a good idea to allow your children to observe your own brushing habits. Have them do some practice brushing while you supervise, giving them a pea-sized drop of toothpaste and guiding their hands as necessary. Be sure that they know to cover all sides of their teeth, and not just the visible part of their frontal teeth. Further, inform them that they should not swallow their toothpaste, as the minty taste may lead them to assume that it is like candy.

Some children develop more quickly than others, but you can generally expect a child to start brushing independently by the age of six. Consult our Issaquah dentist to learn more about fostering good oral health in the youngest members of your family.

Bruxism in Children

It’s not uncommon for children to grind their teeth. Tooth grinding, or bruxism, affects somewhere between fifteen and thirty-three percent of the population at some point in their childhood. It will commonly occur during the eruption of new teeth, since this is a painful experience. Though this will often pass quickly, some children go on grinding for months or years at a time. Here are some tips for identifying and dealing with your own child’s bruxism problem:

  • It is common for children to grind their teeth without even realizing it, possibly while sleeping. Listen for grinding during the night, and be on the lookout if he or she ever complains of an unexplained headache or sore jaw.
  • Stress is the culprit in many cases of bruxism. Try to identify any stressors in your child’s life, and look for ways to alleviate them.
  • Your child can reduce grinding by massaging his or her jaw muscles or applying a warm compress to them before going to bed.
  • Make sure that your child is getting enough to drink, as dehydration can cause or aggravate bruxism symptoms.
  • Alert our Issaquah dentist to your child’s bruxism. It is possible that there is a dental problem that needs to be addressed.

Your Child’s First Dental Check-Up

Our Issaquah dental clinic is a family dentist, so we see a lot of children coming in for their very first check-ups. Some parents think that oral hygiene is less important at a young age, as the children do not yet have their permanent teeth, but this is a dangerous misconception. The truth is that your primary teeth have a very important role to play that can affect your child’s mouth well into adulthood.

What you need to understand is that primary teeth are your mouth’s “training wheels”, and you can’t get too far on broken training wheels. These are the teeth that your child is using to develop proper chewing habits, speech patterns, and brushing technique. If their teeth bother them, your child could develop long-lasting problems. These teeth also serve to guide your permanent teeth into place. If primary teeth are not cared for properly, the permanent teeth may come in crooked. The consequences on your child’s health and self-esteem can be disastrous.

The recommended age for a first dental visit is within six months of the appearance of his or her first tooth, or about when he or she turns one year old. Do the right thing for your children, and get them to Meadow Creek Dental as soon as they’re ready.