Loose Baby Teeth: To Wiggle or Not to Wiggle?

Posted on: 23 February 2016

Excited anticipation over the Tooth Fairy and the rewards she gives for baby teeth may make your child want to get rid of a loose baby tooth as soon as possible. While it's natural for kids to want to wiggle wobbly baby teeth, there are times when this isn't the best thing to do.

When Is Wiggling Good?

If your child has an obviously wobbly tooth, a bit of judicious wiggling won't do any harm. It may even do some good and speed up the process of the tooth falling out. For example, according to Colgate, wiggling a wobbly tooth to make it looser may reduce any bleeding and pain your child has when the tooth eventually falls out.

Tip: If kids have a really wobbly tooth, they may be able to twist the tooth around as they wobble it. This typically won't do any harm as long as they move the tooth gently and don't pull on it. However, if you're squeamish yourself, you may find watching a teeth rotate almost 360 degrees a little hard to stomach. It may be best to look away.

When Is Wiggling Bad?

While gently wiggling an already loose tooth is not a problem, you need to be careful that your child is not using too much force. Kids shouldn't try to wobble out teeth that aren't yet at the loosening stage in the hope this will bring an earlier than expected injection of funds from the Tooth Fairy.

They also need to be careful when a tooth first starts to wobble. At the beginning, baby teeth that are coming loose are still quite attached. If your child moves beyond a little wobble and starts pulling or tugging too hard on the tooth, they may get a shock when the tooth hurts them.

Plus, trying to pull out a tooth that isn't ready to come out yet may damage the root. Baby teeth are ready to leave a gap when their root is absorbed away and the adult tooth is ready to come out. If a tooth is pulled out too early, the root may not be ready and some may be left in the mouth, in which case you may need to have the gap checked out by your dentist.

Warning: If one of your child's baby teeth becomes loose after an accident or injury, it's important to make sure that your child doesn't start to try to wobble it out, according to My Kids Dentist. If this happens, you should get your dentist to check out the tooth, which may need to be left alone rather than wiggled even looser.

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