Do you remember losing a tooth as a kid? Typically it involved a lot of wiggling, maybe a tiny bit of blood, and of course, there’s the big payoff from the tooth fairy. While I was always pretty conservative in how I wiggled my baby teeth out, I remember some of my friends growing up would do things like tie a tooth to a door knob and then slam the door. It seems like kids these days are getting even more creative in how they are extracting their teeth, and while this may make for funny internet videos, there is a bit more going on here than just laughs.
…They Grow Back
In a video posted to Sport’s Illustrated’s website, si.com, a young Seattle Seahawks fan stands in a jersey with football in hand. He then winds back and lets the ball fly, and of course his tooth goes with it. This is just one of many videos that have popped up recently. Some of the more interesting include this young man whose pet parrot aided him in his tooth extraction and this girl in Colorado who used a sling bow to pull her tooth. What exactly is happening when a child loses their baby teeth?
Children lose their teeth in roughly the same order that they came in when they were infants, with typically the front teeth going first. When your adult teeth are beginning to come in, the root of the baby teeth actually begin to dissolve. This is how you are able to wiggle your baby tooth before it falls out. The main concern that I have with some of these tooth extraction videos that have been circulating online is that if a baby tooth is pulled too early, then there is a risk that there may be some damage to the adult tooth that is coming in.
But Take Care!
The best practice when it comes to extracting baby teeth is to simply let them be until you are able to wiggle them. Once the tooth is adequately loose, then you or your child should be able to simply wiggle the tooth until it becomes detached. This ensures minimal damage to the adult tooth, and lets the baby tooth continue to do its job to help guide the adult tooth into place. Plus there will be less blood and considerably less pain for the child involved. It may seem like I am being overly cautious here, but until we can simply regrow adult teeth it is important that we do anything we can to protect them.
Typically, the most common cause for early extraction of baby teeth is due to tooth decay. Watching what foods your child is consuming as well as instilling good brushing habits early on will go a long way towards protecting the dental health of your child. It is also important to remember your own dental needs while caring for a child. If you are looking for a dentist in Rockland County, consider visiting Dr. Mark Dunayer at B&D Dental Excellence in West Nyack, and know that you are in capable hands. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (845) 627-7645.