Extracting a tooth is a procedure normally best left to the professionals. Many people try to remove teeth themselves, often to alleviate unbearable pain, or due to difficulties eating. Children also lose teeth regularly, as part of growing up. DIY tooth removal can save you money and time, but there is a greater risk of infection without the sterile environment of a dentist's office.
Wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial hand wash, before inserting your fingers into your mouth or your child's mouth.
Hold the tooth between your thumb and forefinger. Gently push it backwards and forwards to assess how loose it is. If the tooth is not loose enough, the extraction is likely to be painful and there is a risk of the tooth breaking, with tooth fragments remaining in the gum. If the tooth moves around with little effort, it is loose enough for extraction.
Clean your teeth with a toothbrush, before preparing for the tooth extraction. Brushing your teeth will remove any food molecules trapped around your teeth and gums. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to sterilise your mouth and reduce the risk of infection.
Place a piece of gauze between your thumb and forefinger and grip the affected tooth. Give it a firm pull. If the tooth is sufficiently loose, it should pop out. If it remains in place, you should visit a dentist. Continuing to tamper with a firmly set tooth can worsen pain and lead to infection.
Rinse your mouth out several times, once the tooth is out. The gum will bleed as soon as the tooth is released. It can take a few rinses before the blood flow dies down.
Put a bit of gauze in your mouth over the gum. Hold it in place with your jaw. This will help absorb any last trickles of blood that may emerge. Contact a dentist if the bleeding is persistent, or if you experience severe, ongoing pain.
Examine your mouth every hour to ensure there is no infection. A rotting smell or taste in the mouth can indicate infection. Swelling or redness around the gum area are also telltale signs. Contact your dentist if this occurs. They can prescribe you a regimen of antibiotics to clear the infection.
Things you need
- Gauze swabs