Whether or not a child believes in the Tooth Fairy, losing baby teeth is an important part of growing up. Some children find wiggly teeth exciting, while others face this rite of passage with a little more trepidation.

YouTube is full of how to pull a tooth “suggestions” by parents who have chosen some interesting methods to pull baby teeth. One of the more popular videos in this category is the dad who removed his son’s tooth using a golf ball, dental floss, and a driver. Since it was posted on back in 2014, it has received more than 1.1 million views. Here it is:


Other videos of parents removing their kids’ baby teeth with less than conventional methods include the use of a rocket, a NERF dart gun, and of course, the familiar dental-floss-on-the-doorknob method.

So what is the best method to remove a loose baby tooth?

Is it best to let it fall out on its own or pull it out?  What’s the best way to pull it out? You may not be surprised to hear that while these amusing videos may be fun to watch, we here at Beautiful Smiles Family Dental Center do not advise our patients to pull a child’s baby tooth using any sort of prop or with dental floss or string.

The Chicago Dental Society polled more than 300 dental professionals and asked for their suggestions on how to safely and effectively remove baby teeth. We think these suggestions are very practical and will work just fine:

  • Loosen the tooth. Use firm, gentle pressure to wiggle and twist the tooth. Chewing on firm foods like apples can help in removing the tooth.
  • Numb the tooth. Use a topical anesthetic such as Orajel to numb the area. Popsicles, ice cubes or even a cold rag will also help eliminate pain and discomfort.
  • Be careful with tools. Avoid the old “floss and doorknob” method, which might scare children or catch them off guard. Instead, use a small amount of gauze and your fingers to pull a tooth. Dentists may use small forceps.
  • Use a distraction. Talk to the child about their interests or simply encourage them to focus on something else. Count to “three” and pull it on “two.” Oftentimes, the tooth is out before they even know it.
  • Encourage the child to do it themselves. Depending on the child’s age and looseness of their tooth, dentists agree that it’s usually best for a child to pull the tooth themselves. They know their own tolerance for pain and will most likely wiggle it out on their own!

Photo credit: fotologic on Visual Hunt / CC BY

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At Beautiful Smiles Family Dental Center in Etters, Pennsylvania, Dr. Graver offers many techniques to keep your smile beautiful! We are always concerned about your comfort. Please call us if you have any questions about how our services may benefit you or someone you know.