“Oh No, My Child’s Tooth is Shaking!” – Dr Apphia
Let’s face it, even we as adults freak out at the idea of removing a tooth. Nobody enjoys it or looks forward to it, but unfortunately, we don’t always have a choice.
What should you do if you suspect that your child needs an extraction? How should you prepare them? Is it truly necessary?
1) Do I have to bring my precious innocent angel to the dental clinic or can I wait for it to fall off on its own?
Normally, a milk tooth will start to shake and eventually fall off when the permanent tooth below it pushes it off.
As a permanent tooth grows, it causes the roots of the milk teeth to wear away, hence allowing it to become loose and eventually fall off on its own with minimal pain.
If it falls off on its own, all you have to do is get a clean cloth/gauze, and have your child bite on it for 15 minutes to stop the bleeding.
Falling off on its own however does not happen in every case.
Sometimes, the permanent tooth can get a bit lazy and just find another way for it to erupt.
It is advisable for the milk teeth to be removed so that we can avoid problems in the future such as crowding.
Another way it can go wrong is when the milk teeth is shaking, but is hanging on to dear life in your child’s mouth. This can cause discomfort or even pain, making your child unable to eat properly.
The shaking milk teeth needs to be removed so that your child can eat comfortably and get all the nutrition they need.
2) My child is super anxious about getting his/her teeth pulled.
Even if you are nervous, don’t make a big fuss about it in front of your child as this can worry your child even further.
Be honest with them about why they need it and have a reward ready for them to keep them motivated.
Your tooth is shaking because you have a new adult tooth growing underneath.
Yay, that means you’re becoming a big boy/girl!
We have to bring you to a dentist to remove your baby tooth, so that your adult teeth can come out.
I know you’re nervous, but it’s only going to be for a little while, and you’ll be fine because you’re very brave, aren’t you?
After the dentist, we’ll get you your favourite toy/game/ice cream.
3) Will you have to give him/her an injection?
If the tooth is already loose, we would normally just apply a topical anaesthetic in the form of a spray. This doesn’t hurt but does taste bitter and minty.
If the tooth is mildly loose, we would wait until it shakes more, so that an injection can be avoided.
If the tooth is firm in place, an injection might be necessary. It is usually the last resort if no other choice is available.
4) Will my child need to take medication?
The most common medication for extraction in a child is….
The cold from the ice cream will help the wound heal faster. We don’t normally prescribe painkillers and antibiotics for a loose tooth extraction.
However, if there was a pre-existing infection, we might have to prescribe medication. We have them in syrup form though, so don’t worry if your child can’t swallow pills yet.
What do I have to do after the extraction?
Your child will be asked to bite on a gauze for 15 minutes to ensure the bleeding has stopped.
The wound from a loose tooth removal is usually quite small, but to be on the safe side:
- Have room temperature/cold food for the day. Avoid steaming hot food as this can cause the wound to bleed.
- Make sure your child doesn’t play with the wound with his/her tongue as this may cause irritation and delayed healing.
- Give them loads of attention and love!
If you’re unsure whether your child needs a treatment, bring them in for a check up!
Even if no treatment is required, we can brush their teeth in the dental chair and reward them with a gift every visit (a process known as Desensitization and Positive Reinforcement). It will definitely make it easier on both us and your child once their teeth need bigger treatment.