wikiHow to Pull a Loose Tooth at Home

Two Parts:Testing the ToothPulling the Tooth

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for children. While teeth often fall out on their own, sometimes they need a little help. If your child's tooth is loose and ready to fall out, there are several steps you can take to make sure the extraction is painless and without risk of infection.

Part 1
Testing the Tooth

  1. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 1
    Wiggle the tooth. Pulling out a tooth before it's ready can cause unnecessary pain, bleeding, and infections. Before attempting to remove a tooth, test it thoroughly by moving it around. If it wiggles easily, this indicates that the tooth may be ready to remove.[1]
    • First, encourage your child to wiggle the tooth with their tongue. Make sure the child can move the tooth back and forth, as well as side to side.
    • You or your child can also wiggle the tooth using your hands, but make sure they are thoroughly clean before doing so.
    • If the tooth does not easily move around, it's too early to pull it.
  2. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 2
    Ask the child if there is any pain. A sufficiently loose tooth is only attached by a small thread of gum tissue, and shouldn't cause any pain when it moves around. When wiggling the tooth, ask repeatedly if the child feels any pain. There may be some mild discomfort, but if moving the tooth around causes pain, it's too early to think about pulling it out.[2]
    • Do not worry if you see the permanent tooth appearing near the temporary one. It is absolutely normal, and as one grows the baby tooth will slowly have the root resorbed and become easily to remove.
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    Check for bleeding. Like with pain, a loose tooth shouldn't bleed when you move it around. While there will be some blood when you pull the tooth, there shouldn't be any when you're testing it. While wiggling the tooth, observe and see if there is any blood. If so, it's too early to pull the tooth.[3]

Part 2
Pulling the Tooth

  1. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 4
    Ask your child if they want you to pull the tooth. Abruptly pulling out a tooth can scare your child and cause unnecessary pain if they struggle. Sometimes children will want to wait until the tooth falls out on its own. If this is the case, don't pull the tooth. If your child wants the tooth out, then you can proceed.[4]
  2. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 5
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Dirty hands should never enter your or your child's mouth. This can cause an infection or illness. To avoid complications, always start by washing your hands thoroughly.
    • Click here for a how-to guide from the CDC on the proper hand washing technique.
    • If you have a pair of sterile rubber gloves, it might be good to wear these as well to further reduce the risk of infection.
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    Make sure your child is relaxed and calm. Your child will have to hold still while you take out the tooth, so make sure they are calm before proceeding. This is a very formative time for your child, and you don't want to do something that will cause your child to associate the experience with fear, pain, or panic.[5]
    • Remind your child that the tooth fairy is coming — this might help keep them calm.
    • You can also promise a treat like ice cream after you're all done.
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    Wipe the tooth two or three times with a cotton ball or gauze to avoid slippage. Children's mouths tend to be full of saliva, so it'll be much easier for you (and easier on them) if you wipe down their tooth before you pull it.
    • If you don't have a cotton ball or gauze available, a tissue will work, too. Anything that will dry off the tooth so you can grip it easily, like a cloth, is fine.
  5. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 8
    Take a piece of sterile gauze pad between your thumb and index finger. To further reduce the risk of infection, you shouldn't pull out the tooth with your bare hands. Instead, use a sterile gauze pad so you don't touch the tooth or gums with your skin.[6]
  6. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 9
    Grasp and pull the tooth firmly. Using the gauze pad, grasp the tooth and pull. You can also add a slight twisting motion as you pull to help break the tooth away from the gum. Perform this action quickly so your child doesn't get anxious and start squirming.[7]
    • If the tooth is loose enough, it should pop right out with little trouble. If it doesn't come out after a firm pull, it isn't ready yet. Don't continue or you could hurt your child. Try again in a few days.
    • Another method is to loop a 20 cm piece of floss around the loose tooth and try to get it as high up as possible. Make the loop as firm as possible and use a quick, firm motion to pull on the ends of the floss, popping the tooth off painlessly. If your child wishes to do it themselves, that is okay, too.[8]
  7. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 10
    Stop the bleeding. Even if the tooth was very loose, there will still be some bleeding. Take a fresh, sterile piece of gauze and compress the tooth socket with your forefinger and thumb. Have the child bite on the gauze piece for 10 minutes or so. This will help to control the bleeding and promote quicker wound healing.[9]
  8. Image titled Pull a Loose Tooth at Home Step 11
    Rinse the mouth with salt water. Losing a tooth will leave an open wound in your child's mouth. To prevent infection, use a salt water rinse right after you pull the tooth. It would also be helpful to use this rinse for a few days after the extraction.[10]
    • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water.
    • Have your child swish this mixture in their mouth for 30 seconds.
    • Have your child spit the salt water out. Make sure to tell them that this will make them sick if they swallow it.


  • Give your child cold drinks, ice cream, or popsicles that soothe and numb the gums and also make them happy and relaxed. You can also use a topical anesthetic like clove oil or Orajel to numb the tooth area.
  • When you pull out your child's tooth, make sure you do it quickly, or it will cause your child pain.
  • Ask the child to lean forward to avoid swallowing any blood which might make them nauseous.
  • If your child has not lost any teeth by the age of seven, then just do a check up with your dentist to make sure that there is no problem or to know if all the permanent teeth are under the gums with the help of x-rays.[11]
  • If your tooth is hanging by the gum thread then it's READY to pop right out. If there is pain without wiggling it will help to take it out. If they are afraid of pain then let them wiggle and maybe twist a little, until it pops out.


  • If there is a severe bleeding for more than 15 minutes and the pain is severe, then go to your dentist immediately.
  • Never force to pull out a tooth if the root is only half dissolved as it might fracture and become infected.
  • If you try to pull the tooth and it’s not ready to come out, then don’t force it.—Wait for few days or a week and give it a try again.

Article Info

Categories: Teeth and Mouth