When a Tooth Extraction Is the Right Choice for Your Child

A tooth extraction is a common procedure that can take place when a person’s tooth becomes damaged beyond repair. A child’s tooth is especially vulnerable to damage, and tooth extraction may be necessary to protect their oral health.

Tooth extraction can also be a safe and effective way to remove problematic teeth. When tooth extraction is the best option for your child, it’s important to know when you should have the procedure done. Read on for more information about tooth extraction in children and some tips on how to help your child feel comfortable during this procedure.

Is It Okay to Extract Baby Teeth?

In some instances, it’s best to wait until your child is older before extracting a baby tooth. But if the tooth is damaged or decaying, extraction may be necessary. A dentist can determine whether or not this is the case for each case.

After your child turns five, a baby’s tooth will usually fall out on its own. Talk to a dentist if you’re concerned that your child’s tooth won’t fall out on its own. You can help encourage the tooth to fall out by gently rubbing the roof of their mouth with a cotton swab or finger when cleaning the gums.

Signs Your Child Needs Tooth Extraction

A tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove a tooth from the mouth. The procedure can be performed to alleviate pain or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Here are some signs that your child needs a tooth extraction:

1. Infection 

The most common reason for tooth extraction is gum disease. Gum disease, or “periodontal” disease, is caused by bacteria that form a sticky film called plaque on your teeth, gums, and other dental structures. If left untreated, this bacteria can spread into the surrounding tissue and cause inflammation or infection.

2. Severe or Ongoing Pain 

A toothache is a common example of severe pain that requires treatment. The cause of the pain may be something as simple as a cavity, but it could also result from a more severe condition such as an abscess or cyst.

3. Tooth Decay 

This is one of the most common reasons for tooth extraction. The decay can lead to a toothache or cause other problems, such as a cracked or broken tooth. Decay also makes it difficult to clean the teeth properly and maintain good oral hygiene. 

4. Severe Injury to a Tooth 

A tooth that has been knocked out or severely damaged may need to be extracted. This is especially true for young children whose teeth are still developing and susceptible to damage. Your dentist will likely recommend removing the remaining teeth in that area as well, so they can be replaced with a dental bridge or a dental implant.

What Happens During the Extraction?

If your child has a tooth that is severely damaged or infected, extraction is likely the best option. Laughing gas will be used to help your child relax and feel comfortable during the procedure.

The dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic before removing the tooth, and your child will likely not feel any pain during this time. Afterward, they may experience some soreness for a few days; however, this can be treated with over-the-counter medication that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen.


In many cases, tooth extraction is the best option for children. If you’re wondering when your child should have a tooth removed, talk with your dentist about the best time to take action.

When it comes to tooth extraction for children, Waban Dental Group is here. Our dental office in Newton, MA is equipped with the latest technology, and our team is committed to providing your child with a comfortable, safe experience. Contact us today if you have questions about tooth extraction or other dental procedures for children!

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