What to Do with Your Child’s Loose Tooth

Observing your child’s growth and development as a parent is an exciting and rewarding experience. One of the milestones that many children go through is losing their baby teeth. While this is a natural part of growing up, it can also be a bit nerve-wracking for both parents and children.

If your child has a loose tooth, you may be wondering what to do next. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to manage a loose tooth and ensure your child’s comfort during this process.

Understanding Loose Teeth

Before we dive into what to do with a loose tooth, it’s essential to understand why it happens in the first place. Usually, children begin to lose their milk teeth around six, but it can happen as early as four or as late as eight. This process continues until permanent teeth have replaced all 20 baby teeth.

The reason for this is that as permanent teeth grow, they push against the roots of the baby teeth, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out. This process can take a few weeks or even months, and it’s entirely normal for a child to have a few loose teeth at once.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity

As the baby tooth becomes looser, it may cause some discomfort for your child. This is because the tooth’s roots are connected to nerves, and as the tooth moves, it can cause sensitivity. This sensitivity can be managed by avoiding hard or sticky foods that may aggravate the tooth. Encourage your child to eat softer foods and to chew on the opposite side of their mouth.

You can also try using a numbing gel or over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease any discomfort. Before trying any medication, including over-the-counter, be sure to ask for advice from your pediatrician or pediatric dentist at a children’s dental checkup. If the sensitivity persists or becomes too painful for your child, consult with your child’s dentist for further advice on kids’ oral care.

What to Do with a Loose Tooth

Now that you understand why your child’s tooth is loose and how to manage any discomfort let’s discuss what to do with the loose tooth itself.

Leave It Alone

In most cases, the best thing to do with a loose tooth is to leave it alone. As tempting as it may be to wiggle or pull on the tooth, this can actually cause more harm than good. Pulling on a tooth before it’s ready to come out can cause pain, bleeding, and even damage to the permanent tooth underneath.

Encourage your child to let the tooth fall out naturally. This will ensure that the permanent tooth has enough time to grow in properly and that the baby tooth’s roots have dissolved completely.

Encourage Good Oral Hygiene

While you should avoid pulling on a loose tooth, it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene. Motivate your child to clean their teeth two times daily and floss regularly. This will help keep the area around the loose tooth clean and prevent potential infections. To ensure total oral hygiene and health, it’s a good idea to schedule a kid’s dental cleaning at least twice a year.

Use a Tissue or Gauze

If your child’s tooth is very loose and you can see it’s about to fall out, you can gently wiggle it out with a tissue or gauze. This should only be done if the tooth is extremely loose and about to fall out on its own. Gently grasp the tooth with the tissue or gauze and twist it back and forth until it comes out.

Visit the Dentist

If your child’s tooth is extremely loose but doesn’t seem to be falling out on its own, it may be time to visit the dentist. The dentist can assess and determine if the tooth needs to be removed or if it will fall out naturally in the near future.

What to Do After the Tooth Falls Out

Once the tooth has fallen out, it’s essential to take proper care of the area to ensure it heals properly.

Stop the Bleeding

It’s normal for there to be some bleeding after a tooth falls out. Have your child bite down on a soft and clean piece of gauze or tissue for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding persists, consult with your child’s dentist.

Rinse with Salt Water

For cleanliness and infection control, let your child rinse their mouth with a saltwater mixture. Blend 1/2 tsp salt into 8 oz of warm water and ask the child to swish in the mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods

Just like with a loose tooth, it is important to avoid hard or sticky foods after a tooth has fallen out. These foods can irritate the area and can potentially cause discomfort for your child.

Encourage Good Oral Hygiene

After a tooth has fallen out, it’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene. Have your child brush their teeth twice daily and floss (when age appropriate) regularly to keep the area clean and prevent any potential infections. An essential part of kids’ oral care begins with oral hygiene. This helps maintain oral care practices and offers a sparkly, clean environment for the new tooth.

When to Consult with a Dentist

While losing a tooth is a normal part of growing up, there are some instances where you may need to consult with your child’s dentist. When it comes to loose tooth management, your pediatric dentist is your best friend!

The Tooth Doesn’t Fall Out on Its Own

If your child’s tooth is extremely loose but doesn’t seem to be falling out on its own, it may be time for a children’s dental checkup. The dentist can assess the tooth and determine if it needs to be removed or if it will fall out naturally in the near future.

The Tooth Is Knocked Out

If your child’s tooth is knocked out due to an accident or injury, it’s important to consult with a dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth is brought in within an hour of the accident, the dentist may be able to reattach it.

The Tooth Is Extremely Loose and Painful

If your child’s tooth is extremely loose and causing a lot of pain, it’s essential to consult with a dentist. The tooth may need to be removed to prevent further discomfort and potential damage to the permanent tooth underneath.


Losing a tooth is a normal part of growing up, but it can be a bit nerve-wracking for both parents and children. Understanding why teeth become loose and managing discomfort can help ensure your child’s comfort during the process of dealing with a loose tooth.


Remember to encourage good oral hygiene and consult with a dentist if needed. With proper care, your child’s loose tooth will fall out naturally, and their permanent teeth will grow strong and healthy. Schedule a children’s dental checkup today for more information!