Loose Tooth - Pull or Let It Fall Out on It's Own?

Updated on December 30, 2011
M.4. asks from Saint Petersburg, FL
12 answers

My daughter is 5 with two loose teeth. I wasn't prepared for her losing her teeth already (I thought kids lose teeth at 6 or 7). Anyway, one tooth is VERY loose and the other is just moving a little. Her teeth are very healthy and she doesn't have any imperfections, cavities or dental problems.

My question is, do I wait for it to fall out? Or do I pull it out? When I was yougner, I remember my dad trying to teach me how to tie fancy knots with floss only to "test the durability of the knot" on my loose tooth. The tooth came out every time, and looking back, the joking approach took the tension off when preparing for the pull, but I get queezy just moving my daughters tooth and hearing the "rip" when the tooth is forcefully moved. I'm not sure that it's necessary to pull it... I'm also not sure if it will come out on it's own.

Is it possible for her to choke on her tooth if it falls out at night while she's asleep?

Is it better to pull the tooth or let it fall out on it's own? And how long should I wait? Can it get infected when hanging on too long?

She's fine with losing a tooth. She's actually quite excited because she'd be the first in her class to get a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

Any advice or tips you can offer me? Thanks so much.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Literally, minutes after posting this, I took my daughter to the bathroom and gave her a tissue and told her to wiggle her tooth. The tooth came out effortlessly, painlessly and without a single tear. THANK YOU for offering your advise. As with all things in life, the first time is ALWAYS the hardest.

Now I'm googling "letters from tooth fairy" LOL

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

My son started to lose teeth at 4. If the tooth was super lose like hanging by a string I would take a piece of white bread take off the crust and roll into a ball. My son would bite into it and viola!! tooth would be in the bread, no pain. If it falls out in her sleep and she swallows it she won't choke so no worries. I did the floss thing as well as a kid but my son was NOT interested in tying off the tooth. The bread way was easier for him and painless.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Tampa on

I have a 5 year old who I just took to see her Pediatric Dentist. I asked the dr the same question. The dr said, do not pull it out, let it fall out on it's own. If the tooth doesn't fall out, bring her to the dentist and he'll take a look. So, I would call her dentist, and perhaps take her by there to be checked out...


answers from Jacksonville on

I would decide based upon how much it is bothering her. Until it bothers her sufficiently, then she will be scared. I would be too. And it CAN hurt. A LOT. Especially if it doesn't come out easily. Super loose does NOT guarantee that one tiny pull and it'll come out, either. It depends more upon how much of the root is left and how much has been reabsorbed by the new tooth underneath.

My kids usually leave theirs alone until they are bothersome when they are trying to eat. Then they are ready. :)

ohh.. p.s.
(read your so what happened). Congrats!
But I forgot to mention a tip I learned at my dentist's office: if you use a piece of gauze, it grips the tooth better than any other kind of tissue or paper or whathaveyou. My son pulls his own teeth with it. No dental floss required. :)



answers from Sacramento on

There's never any reason to pull a loose tooth unless the big tooth is actually cutting through and the baby tooth is still there.

Pull them, or leave them, it's up to you, but I'm always a fan of letting the body do what it does and avoiding unnecessary physical trauma.




answers from Tampa on

If it is VERY loose, then pull it. Yes, she can choke on it if it comes out while she is eating or sleeping (but less likely to just fall out on its own). My son had one in the beginning that he was just kind of scared to let us pull out, so I took him to the dentist (it was actually a regular check-up that was scheduled - just so happened to be at the right time). The dentist told me to pull it out or let him do it, but not to let it sit there since it was ready. He was more worried about the eating and it coming out part. So, he has lost 3 now and started a few weeks after he turned 5 and now has his top two that are ready to come out. :-)

One thing I would say for you is.....if you aren't a person that keeps cash around the house, then get some and put it in a safe place for the tooth fairy!!! I have had to go out at 10:00 to get cash to put under his pillow!!! LOL!!! I should have known better since it was his 3rd tooth!!! :-)

Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

Well, with my daughter... when it got VERY loose and hanging by a thread... she actually pulled it out herself. It did not hurt.

One classmate of hers, did swallow her loose tooth, while sleeping.



answers from Miami on

Why would you mess with Mother Nature when she has everything worked out perfectly?



answers from Little Rock on

I had a loose tooth but I was not worried that it would fall out while sleeping. One night I woke up and my tooth was on my tongue. The tooth is not big enough (unless it's a molar,THEN pull it out) to clog airways. I'm guessing that the child will wake up when the tooth falls out (if the tooth falls out while sleeping) and will come to you. If the tooth does not come out within 3 weeks you should probaly talk to a dentist. If the tooth is hurting her then you should numb the gum with numbing medicine or ice and pull it out. Hope you have luck. :)


answers from Norfolk on

My son's done with baby teeth now. He had a few fall out pretty easily. A few came out when he bit into a Tootsie Roll and the tooth stuck to it. He did end up swallowing one or two. Two he had to have pulled because the adult tooth was not coming in directly below the baby teeth and the roots did not dissolve like they are suppose to. Just let it fall out on it's own. If it's taking a really long time, have a dentist take a look at it.


answers from Dallas on

my dad would yank - very traumatic. He didn't always get it on the 1st try! My mom would give me an apple to bite into - but that kinda hurts.
So, with my little one, I just let them get to the point that I could wiggle it a little with my fingers and it would come out. If there was too much resistance, than it wasn't ready. I would try again the next day.



answers from Redding on

I have a pretty strong stomach. Blood and wounds don't bother me at all, but for some reason, my kids' floppy teeth made me completely queezy. I couldn't even look at them!
After the first tooth or two, my kids like pulling their own out. I let them get on the bathroom counter, put a towel in the sink so the tooth couldn't go down the drain and they did it themselves. I folded up tissue for them so they could grab a hold of it and they just popped them out.
I admit I tricked them the first couple of times. With my son, I pretended I was nibbling on his finger and told him he could nibble on mine. He bit down a little and I pulled my finger out and out came the tooth.
His joke with me after that was, "Sure Mom! Bite my finger! Pull my finger!"
It didn't hurt at all and the element of surprise worked out for the best because they weren't freaked about a tooth coming out.
Kids can swallow teeth so letting them get too floppy just doesn't seem like a great idea for me on so many levels.
The tooth will eventually come out on it's own and you shouldn't encourage pulling too early, but you'll know when it's time to just deal with it and get it over with.

I wish you the best.


answers from Los Angeles on

For your next adventure I have a good way of pulling teeth without much or any pain. My dad did the dental floss method too but I can't tie it like he did. I have taken out several of my friends kids teeth. =) This is the perfect season for it too. Carmel apples. They are sticky and tough, let your kid sink their teeth in it and out it comes. Plus, tasting the carmel takes their focus away on tasting blood, if there is any. If you don't have carmel apples around, try laffy taffy or abba zabbas, let them sit in the air for a few hours to get a little stiff. Carmel Apples are better though. It's worked every time for me. =) Good Luck!