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Does Getting a Baby Tooth Pulled Hurt?

For our kids, coming to the pediatric dentist is usually a cause for concern. This is especially true around the time when kids start to lose their baby teeth. So, does getting a baby tooth pulled hurt? Let’s review what happens when your child has to start changing their baby teeth for permanent ones.

Keep in mind that there are additional considerations we, as dental health professionals, take when you bring a child for a tooth extraction. Our own Dr. Surillo has a dual specialty in Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics, so he takes great care in doing everything your child requires to maintain good dental alignment from an early age.

Let’s take a closer look at what happens during a baby tooth extraction.

Does Getting a Baby Tooth Pulled Hurt?

The process will always cause some discomfort, and your child might be scared about the idea of going to someone they don’t know to get a tooth pulled. This is why you should consider taking your kid to a pediatric dentist from a young age. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you take your child to a pediatric dentist from a young age to help them develop a trusting relationship with a qualified dentist.

Consider those baby teeth will naturally fall off, and when we wait until the moment is right, there will be no pain. As the connective tissue naturally changes and allows your kid’s teeth to wiggle around, the process becomes much easier to complete.

You can start off your kid by reminding them what to do:

  • Tell them to push their teeth with their tongue gradually for several days.
  • Discourage any poking or pulling of the loose tooth with your own fingers, as you may accidentally apply too much force and prematurely remove the tooth.
  • Set the expectations as there will be a lot of blood, but it’s nothing to worry about.

In a professional setting, a simple tooth extraction depends on how loose the tooth is. When the base of the tooth begins to come above the gum line, your child’s pediatric dentist will use a local anesthetic and remove the piece.

Other complex extractions require IV sedatives or local anesthetics or cooperation with an oral surgeon. Such cases are usually related to infected teeth, impacted teeth, and wisdom teeth.

When Is It Safe to Pull Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth are typical at certain ages, and even though these specifics vary from child to child, you should keep an eye out for that first wiggle that gets your kid all nervous about tooth extraction. 

You’ll want to have a trusted pediatric dentist who follows up with your child and keeps track of their dental development to know when a normal eruption is due and avoid premature losses or the onset of orthodontic problems.

Kids will usually start losing their upper and lower central incisors around ages eight and six. After years eight and ten, there may be a pause, and then pre-teens start losing their lower canines and first molars.

Make sure you wait long enough to help your child remove their baby tooth without any pain.

Your dentist will use a dental x-ray to follow the growth and eruption of permanent teeth to help you make the decision to pull a baby tooth. The farther away permanent teeth are from the gum line, the riskier it is to pull the tooth.

Here are some other cases when a dental health specialist may recommend a tooth extraction:

Cavities in Baby Teeth

If your child suffers from some type of tooth decay, as does 45.8% of all US kids aged 2-19, according to the CDC, they may be at risk of dental caries. In these cases, the harmful bacteria growing around your kid’s teeth will erode the enamel layers burrowing their way into the soft tissues within the tooth. 

Once in there, the bacteria can cause an infection that puts your kid’s health at risk. By then, you will require help from a professional who will have to determine if they should remove the tooth or perform a root canal and fill the tooth to preserve its structural integrity.

The idea is to control de infection and prevent any orthodontic problems.


If baby teeth are taking too long to fall off, your kid’s dentist will recommend a tooth extraction to let the permanent teeth erupt normally and into the desired position. Otherwise, you could be facing potential complications with overcrowding and other dental malalignment problems that could endanger your child’s dental health.

How to Take Proper Care of Baby Teeth?

Once your kid loses their baby tooth, you should help them apply gentle force with a damp gauze and help the blood clot. After their tooth extraction, your child may feel a bit of pain, with could be easily solved thanks to any over-the-counter painkillers.

Have your child rest from any physical activity with their head elevated. Make sure they drink plenty of water and adjust their diet to liquid options and softer foods high in nutrients. Sure, we know they’ll want ice cream, but we know of the detrimental effects that sugar can have on their teeth. 

If you need a reminder, visit this link for a list of the best and worst foods for teeth.

Maintaining good daily dental hygiene is key to preventing other dental health problems and complications. Have your child switch to a soft bristle toothbrush and keep in mind these general oral care tips:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth at least twice every day.
  • Floss, as usual, to remove food debris from in between their teeth.
  • Be careful if they rinse with mouthwash to avoid forcing the wound on their gums.
  • Limit or avoid sugary food and drinks that can expose other teeth to dental decay and gum disease.
  • Limit other drinks and beverages that are too hot or cold to avoid additional discomfort. 

Contact the Best Pediatric Dentist in La Mesa

The team at Children’s Braces and Dentistry will be thrilled to receive you here in our office. We want to help children maintain great dental health, and we know exactly how to help children feel like the dentist’s office is a safe place for them.

If your child is nearing a tooth extraction, get in touch with us so we can help make the experience as pleasant as possible. You can set an appointment online and stay in touch in case you want any guidance on baby tooth removal at home.