370 E South Temple, Ste 325 Salt Lake City, UT 84111

If the Tooth Fairy’s hovering and a loose baby tooth is taking its sweet time in falling out, that’s when mom and dad step up to the plate! Most of the time, you can help your kids pull their baby teeth at home. 

However, there are instances where dental intervention may be required. Kids might feel a little scared to have to go into the office, but you can help prepare them in advance so you’ll both know what to expect. 

Why Does My Child Need An Extraction? 

Rest assured that your dentist will never recommend a tooth pulling (called an extraction) unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why your child might need their baby teeth pulled.


  • Trauma or injury can cause teeth to be cracked, chipped, or entirely broken. 
  • If the tooth is damaged beyond repair, then an extraction may be the only option.
  • Tooth injuries cause pain or sensitivity, and an extraction can help.

Tooth Decay 

  • Baby teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay. 
  • Young children are less likely to take good care of their teeth through regular brushing and flossing than adults. 
  • If the decay has been left for too long and becomes too extreme, then a regular cavity filling might not be sufficient. 

Stubborn Baby Teeth 

  • Baby teeth that won’t fall out on their own can cause problems later when it is time for the permanent teeth to come in. 
  • If your child needs braces, the dentist may need to remove baby teeth that have not yet fallen out to make sure that the permanent teeth will be correctly aligned. 

If you think your child might need a baby tooth pulled, consult with a dentist today. 

What Happens When Baby Teeth Are Pulled

Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough for what will happen during your child’s tooth extraction: 

  1. The dentist will take X-rays of your child’s mouth.
  2. In most cases, local anesthetic will be applied so that they will not feel any pain. 
    1. In extreme situations and based on your child’s age, it may be necessary for your child to receive general anesthesia. 
  3. The dentist will carefully loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator and then remove it with forceps. Special care will be taken to not damage the bone. 
    1. After removing the tooth, the dentist may perform a few small stitches based on the condition of your child’s mouth. 
  4. A space maintainer may be placed in your child’s mouth. Space maintainers ensure proper space is left for the permanent teeth to grow in later. 

Prepare Your Child For the Procedure

Though this could be a potentially scary or overwhelming experience for your child, preparing them beforehand will help them to be as calm as possible in the moment. 

Here are some tips to help your child remain calm during their baby tooth pulling:

  • Talk openly with them about why a tooth extraction is necessary. 
  • Explain the procedure to them in detail (you can use our walkthrough above) so that they are more aware of the situation. 
  • Focus on the positive: 
    • Remind your child that they will not feel any pain after the anesthetic is administered. 
    • If your child believes in the Tooth Fairy, the knowledge that they will be receiving a present from her can give them something to look forward to. 
  • Choose a dentist you and your child trust. 
    • This will help you be more calm during the procedure. It may also help your child be less afraid because they will recognize the dentist rather than feeling that they are with a stranger. 
    • If your child does not know your dentist, you can ask the office to schedule a time when you can bring your child a few days before the procedure so that they can meet.

Find a Dentist You Can Trust

Choose a reliable dentist to help you and your children. At South Temple Dental, we prioritize our patient’s needs and comfort. 

If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, schedule an appointment with South Temple Dental today.