Removing a Child's Loose Tooth
There are times when a loose tooth is perfectly normal. Losing teeth is a rite of passage: baby teeth fall out, and adult teeth begin to peek through the gums.
Be sure to check the area where the tooth has been removed to make sure no tooth fragments are left behind. Especially if a tooth is knocked out, fragments are very possible, and the victim should visit a dentist as soon as possible.
The tooth fairy's surprise aside, losing a baby tooth rarely causes any complications. But sometimes a loose tooth refuses to come out on its own. In that case, you can carefully pull it yourself. If a child's tooth moves back and forth easily without pain, follow these steps to pull it:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Ask your child to open wide. Try to keep him or her calm. The anticipated tooth fairy's visit is always a good fear reliever!
- Using a clean gauze pad, gently pull the tooth out with your fingers.
- The gum above the removed tooth might bleed. If so, have the child lean slightly forward to avoid swallowing any blood (and becoming nauseated).
- Using a new gauze pad, apply pressure to the gum area until bleeding stops.
- Bleeding should stop within a few minutes. If, after fifteen minutes, the bleeding continues, seek professional medical help.
- (Optional) Put the tooth under the child's pillow before he or she goes to sleep so the tooth fairy will visit!
More on: Teething and Dental Care
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to First Aid Basics © 1996 by Stephen J. Rosenberg, M.D. and Karla Dougherty. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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