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Don't Rush That Baby Tooth! Why You Shouldn't Always Pull Out Your Child's Baby Teeth

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When it comes to your baby's teeth, you seldom, if ever, need to intervene in order to speed up the growing process. Your baby's first set of teeth should come through, and later fall out, in their own time. Once they have fallen out, the permanent teeth erupt within a few weeks to replace them. While not every single case is without one or two hiccups along the way, by and large, no matter how enthusiastic a parent understandably is, they should refrain from attempting to speed up the process.

Although most children's baby teeth fall out within a certain time period, not all children will adhere to this timeline. Some children are ahead of the curve, while others are behind. Therefore, if you are wondering whether you should pull your child's baby tooth out, and whether this will speed up the eruption of the permanent tooth or not, you should first be aware of the risks.

You Could Slow Permanent Tooth Eruption

Contrary to what some parents might think, removing a slightly loose baby tooth will generally not speed up eruption of the permanent tooth. The only way that this might happen is if the permanent tooth root is at least two thirds of the way developed. If this is the case, then removing the loose baby tooth will be beneficial. However, without the benefit of a dental X-ray, you cannot determine the extent of a permanent tooth's development.

Pull the baby tooth too early, and you will actually slow the eruption process.

The Remaining Teeth Might Take Up the Space

By pulling a tooth too early, you invite the adjacent baby teeth to fill the space left behind by the absent tooth. Those teeth will lean into the space, causing issues with your child's bite, meaning the way in which their teeth meet while chewing, and blocking the path of the permanent tooth.

Pulling a Tooth Early Could Cause Impaction

If the path of the permanent tooth is blocked by leaning baby teeth, the permanent tooth will either erupt at the wrong angle or become stuck in the bone or gum tissue. A dentist will then need to perform surgery to correct this issue, surgery that could have easily been avoided if you had consulted with your dentist first.  

Remember, your child's baby teeth are not just useful for chewing and speaking, they also serve as placeholders for the incoming permanent teeth. Unless a baby tooth is extremely loose, do not pull it out. Visit your dentist before taking any such action. That way, a dentist can let you know if the time is right or not.