Removing a Child's Tooth
April 4, 2005 5:43 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to remove a 6-year-old's lower front tooth that is almost ready to come out on it?
posted by terrier319 to Health & Fitness (22 answers total)
We'd always bite into raw apples when our loose teeth got to that point. They'd pop right out on the first or second bite almost every time.
posted by scody at 5:50 PM on April 4, 2005

Hold an ice cube against the base of the tooth for a while. Remind the kid that the tooth fairy will be stopping by. Grab hold of his/her tooth firmly. Begin counting to three.
Pull sharply on two.
This works really well, and I promise you won't hurt the little one. Before he/she knows it, it'll be over.
posted by nprigoda at 5:54 PM on April 4, 2005

Better than ice, get some Orajel from your drugstore. It's got Benzocaine in it, so you literally don't feel a thing. I used it once when I was a kid for a stubborn tooth that was hanging on past its time, and it was great.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:12 PM on April 4, 2005

Man. I drank me the shit outta some benzocaine the other night at a party.

My brother used to have me bite his hand as hard as possible. One time we worked out three of my front teeth in one afternoon. Otherwise, a long piece of dental floss and a sharp yank works pretty well.

Getting kicked in the head alot works also.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:19 PM on April 4, 2005

I remember vividly my first lost tooth...weeks and weeks of playing with the loose tooth until i finally worked it out
I always liked milk duds or sugar daddies (apples and pears too)...automagic tooth removal with a spoonfull of sugar...

I'd wager that nprigoda and Who_am_I are closer to the most painless though.
posted by schyler523 at 6:23 PM on April 4, 2005

If you're stranded on a desert island, perhaps you might find an ice-skate in the flotsam.
posted by randomstriker at 6:45 PM on April 4, 2005


posted by   at 7:06 PM on April 4, 2005

What's keeping it in? Just not loose enough to come out? May not be ready then. But if it is close, give the kid a popsicle so it gets nice and cold/numb and have him, if he is game, chew on the stick to get the tooth moving around then see if he can pluck it out.
posted by Jazz Hands at 7:10 PM on April 4, 2005

My daughter, an expert at ripping out her own teeth, says a twist is better than a yank.
posted by sexymofo at 7:25 PM on April 4, 2005

Oh man, this question brought back memories of going to my dad where he would read the paper every night at the kitchen table, and having him yank the tooth out by hand. No clever solution -- just reached in and yanked it out. With 30 teeth he got it out on the first try, painlessly, 29 times.

It's sort of a band-aid removal type thing. If you just hold on tight and yank really hard, it will come out painlessly. If you hem and haw, you'll screw up and it'll become a horrible memory your child tells their therapist 20 years from now.

There's probably a better way to do it, though, I admit.
posted by Hildago at 7:30 PM on April 4, 2005

One of my teeth simply would not come out, and my father could be truly sadistic about yanking teeth. Still, for days it did not come out. Finally, my mother took me to the dentist and even he spent twenty minutes before it popped out. After examining it, he was completely baffled as to why it was so difficult.

Now if I could just get over those 'losing your teeth' dreams... ;-P
posted by mischief at 7:59 PM on April 4, 2005

Thanks, trharlan.
posted by   at 8:39 PM on April 4, 2005

Never force a tooth to fall out. Forcing the tooth can damage the growth of the newer tooth. Just let nature take its course. If nature is being stubborn, go to the dentist.
posted by johnj at 8:43 PM on April 4, 2005

Big Hunk candy bars. Preferably purchased at a gas station. I don't know why that makes a difference, but it does.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:18 PM on April 4, 2005

People, people, people! This is the little tooth of a little kid that is in the process of leaving ANYWAY.

It will not remain there forever. It will come out on its own. While all these are very interesting suggestions, the one thing you can absolutely count on is little kids messing around with loose teeth until they come out. Naturally. On their own. And most importantly, PAINLESSLY. (My dad tried the doorknob thing on me, and I still remember the pain pain pain.)

If you take it out too early, with a too-forceful yank, you could hurt something. Leave it alone, and let the kid have her or his fun with it.
posted by jennyjenny at 5:02 AM on April 5, 2005

Not the best way, but I once knocked out my daughters tooth by releasing the seat lever in our vehicle. The seat popped up and bumped her in the mouth and it fell out. Don't worry, it didn't hit her that hard, it would have probably fallen out by itself that day anyway. (Makes a good story though - "Dad knocked my tooth out!") And yes, it was an accident!
posted by raster at 7:21 AM on April 5, 2005

Let her figure it out for herself -- it's an incredibly satisfying rite of passage to fidget, twist, push, and/or rock a tooth to its ultimate demise, one of those little-kid body-exploration things that feel good/bad and are scary/fun! I'm with jennyjenny.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:07 AM on April 5, 2005

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posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:28 AM on April 5, 2005

The Tom Sawyer method:

"Oh auntie, my sore toe’s mortified!"
The old lady sank down into a chair and laughed a little, then cried a little, then did both together. This restored her and she said:
"Tom, what a turn you did give me. Now you shut up this nonsense and climb out of this."
The groans ceased and the pain vanished from the toe. The boy felt a little foolish, and he said:
"Aunt Polly it seemed mortified, and it hurt so I never minded my tooth at all."
"Your tooth, indeed! What’s the matter with your tooth?"
"One of them’s loose, and it aches perfectly awful."
"There, there, now, don’t begin that groaning again. Open your mouth. Well – your tooth is loose, but you’re not going to die about that. Mary get me a silk thread, and a chunk of fire out of the kitchen."

Tom said:
"O, please auntie, don’t pull it out. It don’t hurt any more. I wish I may never stir if it does. Please don’t, auntie. I don’t want to stay home from school. "
"Oh, you don’t, don’t you? So all this row was because you thought you’d get to stay home from school and go a fishing? Tom, Tom, I love you so, and you seem to try every way you can to break my old heart with your outrageousness." By this time the dental instruments were ready. The old lady made one end of the silk thread fast to Tom’s tooth with a loop and tied the other to the bed-post. Then she seized the chunk of fire and suddenly thrust it almost into the boy’s face. The tooth hung dangling by the bed-post now.
But all trials bring their compensations. As Tom wended to school after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and admirable way. He gathered quite a following of lads interested in the exhibition .

posted by beagle at 10:43 AM on April 5, 2005

My six-year-old's dentist agreed with invisible username person. Wait and wiggle. (the tooth, of course)
Don't force it, and never tie it to a string and yank -- if the root is only half dissolved, it could break and become infected.
posted by badger_flammable at 12:36 PM on April 5, 2005

My dad used the 'string and doorknob' method to remove a few.

My mom thought it barbaric, so she gave me a box of Oreos and told me to eat as many as I cared to, figuring that I was bound to remove it in the process. Problem was I swallowed it, and then threw a fit because I'd miss out on 50 cents from the Tooth Fairy.

That incident converted her over to my father's barbaric but effective methodology.
posted by gregariousrecluse at 1:47 PM on April 5, 2005

My dad would yank it out with a piece of tissue paper. The tissue would dry the tooth giving him extra grip!

I still remember the love-hate tongue poking the wound...
posted by lorbus at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2005

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