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Pulling a tooth is a rite of passage for children
as they shed their baby teeth for an adult set. But parents often ask:
What are the safest and most painless ways to pull a loose tooth?
In the fall of 2010, the Chicago Dental Society surveyed more than 300
of its members to find out their tips for treating a loose tooth.
Loosen the tooth. Use firm, gentle pressure to wiggle and twist the
tooth. Chewing on firm foods like apples can help in removing the tooth.
Numb the tooth. Use a topical anesthetic such as Orajel to numb the
area. Popsicles, ice cubes or even a cold rag will also help eliminate
pain and discomfort.
Be careful with tools. Avoid the old “floss and doorknob” method, which
might scare children or catch them off guard. Instead, use a small
amount of gauze and your fingers to pull a tooth. Dentists may use small
Use a distraction. Talk to the child about their interests or simply
encourage them to focus on something else. Count to “three” and pull it
on “two.” Oftentimes, the tooth is out before they even know it.
Encourage the child to do it themselves. Depending on the child’s age
and looseness of their tooth, Chicago Dental Society’s members agreed
that it’s best for a child to pull the tooth themselves. They know their
own tolerance for pain and will most likely wiggle it out on their own!
Most importantly, use lots of TLC!
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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