Forget the traditional door slam method: When it comes to helping their kids remove loose baby teeth, today’s parents are taking to the skies.
The process is simple:
Step one: Tie a piece of string to the loose tooth.
Step two: Attach the other end of that string to a small aircraft.
Step three: Fly that aircraft away from your kid all full tilt until the tooth pops out.
Oh, then then there’s the most crucial requirement: Capture the entire thing on camera and upload the resulting video to Youtube.
Some parents do it with drones. Some use remote controlled helicopters. A few daredevil families use rockets. And one dad was so taken with the trend he decided to hook his kid’s tooth up to an actual helicopter. (Don’t worry, he’s a professional pilot.)
It’s difficult to say who exactly started the trend. The earliest Youtube videos of aircraft-assisted tooth removals are around 5 years old. But lately, they have increased in frequency — likely due to the explosion of the consumer drone industry.
There’s a dramatic range in production quality, from tiny portrait-style cell phone videos to high-def masterpieces complete with slow-mo replays. Some have only a handful of views, while others go viral. The one thing that never changes?
The kids’ reactions are priceless.
We had just one question: Is this actually safe for a kid’s dental health? We called up Mary Hayes, DDS, a pediatric dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association, to find out.
“You just need to make sure that some common sense is employed here,” she told INSIDER. “I would not advise a parent to do it unless the tooth the tooth is really loose and hanging by a thread.” (Attempting to pull out a tooth that’s not quite ready can lead to painful follow-up visits to the dentist.) “If there’s any doubt, your dentist can be your consultant,” she said.
Above all, the most important consideration is to make sure your child actually wants to take part. “Don’t ever force a child to go through with it because it’s what the parents want,” Hayes said.
The bottom line: As long as the tooth is truly ready and the aircraft is safely flown, Hayes finds that these experiences can actually bring families closer.
“The interesting thing for me is that parents are always kids at heart,” she said. “And they’re helping their kids make a big adventure out of this transition.”
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