Dental Problems in Kids: How to Deal with Permanent Tooth Behind Baby Tooth
Removing a baby tooth is very easy and painless when it is done by a dentist. Watch this video and you will know exactly how it is done at a dentist office. Like many parents, I freaked out the first time when I saw a permanent tooth growing behind my kid's baby tooth. The baby tooth was still firmly standing in its position. It was nowhere loose enough to be yanked out by me. I called my kid's dentist right away. But to my surprise, the dentist, Dr. Hung Tran was so calm when he saw the permanent tooth proudly presenting itself behind the baby tooth. He explained that it's common that kids having a permanent tooth grow behind a baby tooth and the solution could be simple and painless when it's done in the right way by a dentist. My kid was in tears and scared from the moment we entered the dentist office, but was very calm and relax during the process of extracting the baby tooth and I was relieved.
What to Do When Permanent Tooth Behind Baby Tooth
After raising three kids with very stubborn baby teeth, I have learned that there are at least three ways to deal with the problem of a permanent tooth growing behind a baby tooth:
- Have your kid wiggle the baby tooth out: You might have to keep reminding your kid to wiggle his/her loose baby tooth because kids can be easily distracted by other things and might forget about their loose teeth. That's what happened to my kids. I had to constantly remind them to wiggle their loose teeth, or else it could result in a baby tooth being still firmly attaching to the gum and forcing the permanent tooth to grow behind or in front of it.
- Pull the loose tooth out by an adult: When a loose tooth is very loose but still has not come off by itself, you can use dental floss to try and pull it out. This will help save you money if you don't have dental insurance or your dental plan only covers a portion of the cost. This is a very common practice in China. Here is how you pull out a loose tooth with dental floss:
- Cut a 6'' - 8" long dental floss
- Tie a slip knot at one end of the dental floss
- Use the loop to wrap around the loose tooth then push the loop as close to the gum as possible
- Gently pull the other end of the dental floss to tighten the loop
- Have the kid lie back on a sofa, chair or bed
- Have some tissue paper or cotton balls/pads handy to help absorb the blood
- Use a sudden force to yank up if it is a bottom tooth, or yank down if it is an upper tooth
- Use tissue paper, cotton balls or other absorbent materials, as long as they are clean and soft, to press onto the hole left from the removed tooth
- Have the kid bit down tight to give the pressure to the gum for at least 10 - 15 minutes so that it can help to stop bleeding
- Ask your dentist for help: Having a dentist to extract a tooth will most likely involve using a numbing medication so the kid won't feel the pain. The whole process takes about 15 minutes because it does take time for the numbing medication to work. Watch the video above and you'll know how a baby tooth is extracted in a dentist's office. This might or might not cost you money depending upon whether you have dental insurance and the dentist that you use. It would be wise to shop around for a good and affordable dentist because different dentist could give you a different price tag for the same type of dental work. For example, if your insurance company only pays $60 for extracting a tooth, and the dentist ask for $100, then you would have to pay $40 out of your own pocket.
Gum After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth is removed, it will leave a hole in the gum and you need to give it time to heal. Your gum might bleed and feel sore. It is very important to put pressure on it to stop the bleeding. Don't use your tongue or finger to touch it. It would be wise to avoid eating anything that would touch that area. Soft food is always the best choice for the next 24 hours. And don't brush it either until it is completely heal. It usually takes about a day or two for the gum to heal unless there is an infection.