MOST OF US PROBABLY remember what it was like to lose our first tooth as a kid. Wiggling it with your tongue, accidentally biting down on it the wrong way, getting all kinds of advice from friends, older siblings, and parents, and being a little worried about what it would actually feel like when it came out…
It’s something every child will go through, and just like any new experience, it can be scary. We recommend that parents have a plan ready for how to help their kids through this rite of passage.
A great way to make the prospect of losing that first baby tooth less scary is to help your child see it as a rite of passage: losing baby teeth is a major part of being a big kid, just like learning to ride a bike and tie their own shoelaces. It’s a big, exciting step forward in growing up, and hopefully they’ll be able to see it that way with your help.
Any loose tooth game plan should include the technique for how that tooth will actually come out. We would discourage you from chasing your child around with a pair of pliers, as that isn’t very conducive to a positive experience. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth often with their tongue or a clean finger to help it along, and try not to force the issue if they’re still too nervous. It’s best to wait until the tooth is very loose in any case.
When it comes to pulling the tooth out, there’s the old standby of tying some dental floss around a doorknob, but you could also make it a little more unique by tying the floss to a Nerf dart, an arrow, or the dog’s collar. Make a few suggestions to your child and see which one they like best.
This family has simple methods, but they do a great job of keeping it fun and relaxed:
Once the tooth is out, it’s time to celebrate! That could be as simple as waiting for the Tooth Fairy, but maybe your child would be more excited if they have a new toy or a trip to the ice cream shop to look forward to instead. Including some kind of reward, even a small one, will help them have something to focus on besides the scary parts.
If you’re still worried about how to make losing that first tooth a good experience for your child, we’re happy to answer any questions you have and give you more tips. If you’re worried because your child’s teeth aren’t becoming loose yet, just bring them in and we can discover the cause.