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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.

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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Why You Should Never "Help" Loosen a Baby Tooth

by April Myers

It wasn't all that long ago that it was seemingly common sense to help a child to get a baby tooth out that seemingly wouldn't fall out on its own. You may have even grown up with your own parents "helping" you in this way and getting it over with. But in reality, that's actually not wise. Forcing your child's baby tooth to come out before it's ready is a very bad idea. Here's why.

Baby Teeth Typically Don't Need Help

The vast majority of the time, baby teeth will fall out and grow back on their own. The body will naturally start to absorb the roots of the baby tooth, and once they're fully absorbed, the remaining part of the tooth will simply pop out on its own. Many children will have baby teeth fall out without even noticing that they've become loose because the body is that efficient at handling this.

Potential Damage

Traditionally, parents would sometimes try to get a baby tooth out by strongly wiggling it or even by yanking it out after tying a string to it. Bad idea! This can not only cause damage to your child's gums, but it can also damage the tooth. Not to mention, your child might be more afraid of you and be more afraid of enduring another loose tooth.

Of course, your child's baby tooth needs to fall out, so a little damage might not seem like a bad thing. However, if the tooth hasn't finished having its roots absorbed, abruptly yanking on the tooth can cause the remaining roots to break off instead. These roots will then die, which won't be absorbed by the body. Instead, this state can trigger gum infections, tooth infections, and even sepsis. If you've already prematurely pulled a baby tooth, it's a good idea to go to a dentist's office to ensure that you haven't caused more hurt than help. 

What to Do If It's Not Falling Out

Of course, there are rare instances where a child's baby tooth won't fall out as planned. So if your child has gone several days and is still wiggling that tooth, or if they're experiencing pain or swelling of the gums around the tooth, get in touch with a dentist right away. This may indicate that something is going wrong with the baby tooth. In this instance, a dentist can extract it safely.

Most of the time, the best thing a parent can do for a baby tooth is just let nature take its course. Your child wiggling the tooth with their tongue is more than enough stimulation to encourage that tooth to come out. But if all else fails, contact a family dental care clinic for further assistance. 

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