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To Pull or Not to Pull for Parents

From our friends at the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists)

Question: Should parents help pull out a child’s wiggly tooth or let it fall out on its own?

Answer: My best advice is to let nature take its course! Parents should encourage kids to gently wiggle the tooth with their finger or tongue until it naturally falls out on its own. Pulling the tooth out before it is ready may actually cause unnecessary bleeding and pain, which could be upsetting. Although it is rare, if you see a permanent tooth coming in and the baby tooth won’t fall out, call your pediatric dentist to see if help is needed to remove the baby tooth. The best approach is to keep an eye out for any problems and let the tooth fall out on its own. And then, you and your little one can celebrate with your very own tooth fairy tradition to mark this big-kid milestone!


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Sara L. Filstrup D.D.S., M.S., AAPD Parliamentarian. Dr. Filstrup is a board certified pediatric dentist in private practice at Cambridge Pediatric Dental Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a national spokesperson of the AAPD. She received her M.S. from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry, was a fellow at C.S. Mott Children’s Health Center, Flint, Michigan, and received her dental degree from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

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