Lake Oconee Dentistry - November 2018

Should Parents Help Pull Loose Baby Teeth?


Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays celebrated throughout the United States. One of the first documented Thanksgiving celebrations took place in 1621 when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast together. But the banquet, which celebrated the colonists’ first successful harvest, wasn’t just one large meal, nor did it last for only one day; in fact, the feast lasted for three days. In later years, Thanksgiving also lasted for longer than a single meal. During the time of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress chose several days throughout the year to celebrate giving thanks. Then, in 1789, George Washington made the U.S. national government’s first Thanksgiving proclamation. He used this to speak to his fellow American citizens about the Revolution’s satisfactory conclusion and encouraged them to show their thanks for the freedoms they gained. Thanksgiving became a national holiday more than 200 years after its first celebration. It gained this status largely due to the persistence of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale was a successful magazine editor, prolific writer of novels and poems, and author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which was first published in her 1830 collection entitled “Poems for Our Children.” Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for children. It’s a sign that they are growing up! Many parents are excited to be part of this experience and re-enact the traditions of their childhood. How many of us remember a parent tying one end of a string to your tooth and the other to a doorknob, helping the tooth come out with a single slam? This “trick” for getting out a loose tooth is a time- honored tradition — and it’s also one of the worst ways to handle a loose baby tooth! You should never force a tooth to come out before it’s ready. If a tooth is yanked out before the root is fully dissolved, the root can break and cause a great deal of pain. Forcing a tooth out can also damage gum tissue or the surrounding teeth, leading to infection. Some parents want to get loose teeth out of their child’s mouth as soon as possible because they’re worried the tooth will get swallowed by accident. If this happens, you don’t have to be alarmed. A baby tooth is not a choking hazard and a swallowed tooth will pass through your child’s body without any trouble. At most, you may have to help your child write a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what happened. SARAHHALE

If your child is begging you to take out their loose tooth, don’t go searching for the string. Instead, take a tissue and gently apply pressure on the tooth with two fingers. The tooth should pop right out. However, if the tooth resists or your child complains about any pain, leave the tooth alone a little longer. The best way to deal with a loose tooth is to have patience and let your child wiggle her tooth until it falls out on its own. Loose teeth will fall out when the time is right.

How Thanksgiving Became an Official Holiday!

In 1827, Hale began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. For the next 36 years, she wrote numerous editorials and countless letters to state and federal officials expressing her desire that it gain official status. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln finally declared it a national holiday, hoping that it would help heal the wounds of the country. Lincoln decided that the holiday would take place on the last Thursday of November. It was celebrated on that day until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving a week earlier in the hopes of increasing retail sales during the Great Depression. However, this plan was very unpopular, and in 1941, the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Without the efforts of Sarah Hale, we might not have the pleasure of the Thanksgiving feast we know and love to this day. This year, give thanks for family, good food, and the resolve of one woman who recognized the importance of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

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