What to do When Your Child is Afraid to Pull the Tooth?
Even though losing baby teeth is a common occurrence in children between the ages of 5 and 6, it can still kick off major anxiety and even cause trauma in your child. To prevent it, you can use different methods like having a conversation on the topic and offering relevant explanations, helping them see it as a fun event, playing tooth fairy, etc. And while there’s no guarantee they will work with your child, there’s no harm in trying at least some of them in case you notice that your kid is anxious about pulling their tooth.
Without further wiggling (pun intended), below we explore some of the surefire ways to help your child be more calm and ready for this important milestone in their life.
Talk To Your Kid To Prepare Them For Losing Their Teeth
If your child mentions a friend who’s just lost their tooth, make sure you talk with them about it and prepare them for the same outcome. Tell them there’s nothing unusual about it and that at some point, everyone has had to go through it, including yourself. Keep the conversation light, don’t force the talk about pulling their teeth, and don’t criticize them for wiggling it either, as this can help a tooth come out more easily when the moment arrives.
Pay Attention To Some Of The Following
Keep in mind that pulling the tooth out too early isn’t recommended either. However, you should pay a visit to a dentist in case you notice any sign of tooth decay, as it can easily spread to other teeth causing extensive damage. Don’t allow them to touch their teeth with dirty hands, as this can introduce harmful bacteria to their mouth. If the child is afraid of blood, give your best to reassure them there won’t be much blood if a tooth is pulled on time. If they pull the tooth, apply some wet gauze to help them stop bleeding faster.
Be Careful With Old-school Methods
There are many traditional methods to pull a baby tooth, and some of the most popular ones are the string and doorknob method, the doggy treat method, and the flying ball method. Every one of these methods typically includes a string that is tied around a loose tooth on one end and some other object on the other. The point is to perform an action that will tighten the string just enough to make the tooth come out faster.
While these methods might seem fun, you should be extra careful with them because they can turn out into traumatizing events for your child. Don’t force them to try them if they don’t feel like it because they can end up being even more afraid of pulling their teeth afterward.
The Tooth Fairy Might Help
A tooth fairy figure originates from North European folklore but it enjoys great popularity in the United States even to this day. This is a good example of positive reinforcement because children receive a prize if they put their tooth under their pillow. Positive reinforcement is also used in dental offices and has shown exceptional results in dealing with dental fear and anxiety. However, don’t reward your child with large sums of money.
Explain To Them Why It Happens
Take some time to explain to your child the science behind losing their baby teeth. Tell them that the roots of baby teeth naturally dissolve to make place for permanent teeth. This also happens to ensure that the primary teeth losing process is as painless as possible. That way, you will help them calm down and be better prepared for their teeth to come out.
Celebrate This Important Milestone With Them
Losing baby teeth can be quite emotional for parents and caregivers and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you get caught in the feelings because this does mark an end of an era. However, you should still celebrate it as some of the happiest moments in your life because it will signify that your child is slowly but surely entering the world of adults.
Losing baby teeth and making room for a permanent set is an important dental milestone in everyone’s life. To make it easier for your child and help them reduce the fear of pulling a tooth, you should use different strategies, the most important being an open and friendly talk about the process and what it means for their future. On the other hand, you can also use the tooth fairy tradition to make it fun for them by using positive reinforcement.
How did you help your child cope with the fear of pulling a tooth? Is there any interesting anecdote you’d like to share with us? Share your experience in the comments!