Tooth extraction by door - did people really do this?

As seen in countless old cartoons: a guy sits with a string or cord attached to an aching tooth with the other end of the string tied to a door handle. The hoped for result, of course, is that the door will be slammed violently shut and the offending tooth will pop out.

But did people really do this, or was it just a cartoonist’s gag from the get-go?

I did it when I was a kid. Worked pretty well, assuming you tied the string well…

I’ve seen this done with a kid’s loose tooth. I don’t know know about doing it to pull out a tooth with roots still attached. If we didn’t pull our teeth in time, my dad would pull out the needlenose pliers… sound scary, but was more efficient and less painfull with a clean downward motion than the forward motion of the “slamming door” variety…

I’ve done it, but it was because of the cartoons.

Mom didn’t need a door. She had strong fingers, and we kids quickly learned not to say anything if we had a loose tooth. Mom would say “I’m just going to wiggle it and see how loose it is.” Gullible kid would open the ol’ mouth, and before you knew it – Yoink! – Mom had your tooth in hand.

I’ve done it as well and it worked.

Ivylad would pull our kids’ teeth out when they were loose by saying, “I’m going to count to three and pull…1…2…YANK!”

They weren’t expecting it and didn’t tense up.

OK, this is weird, but I actually tried that on my oldest son a couple of years ago, sort of as a joke. Basically, he’d seen it in a cartoon and I was getting the willies watching him toy with his extremely loose tooth, so we rigged him up to the door, gave it a yank, and…

It pulled my son’s head in the direction of the door without extracting the tooth! :eek:

(It’s OK, it didn’t hurt)

I didn’t think it was possible; he had been pushing it out of place and twirling it on the tiny thread of flesh still holding it in…it couldn’t have been more than a kite string’s thickness, I swear.

So after watching him screw with it even more, I finally said “Hey, I heard that on Wednesdays, the Tooth Fairy pays double!”, and voila! Tooth under pillow the next morning.

My mom and I tried this when I had a loose tooth once. It turned into a debacle.

Attempt One: We’d gotten so caught up in laughing and setting it up that I was standing on the wrong side of the door. It just slammed in my face. Hilarity ensued.

Attempt Two: The string broke.

Attempt Three: The replacement string was too long, so it was just dangling there between my mouth and the door after the slam.

Attempt Four: The dog was walking into the bathroom at the wrong moment and got the door slammed on him. (It was one of those lightweight interior doors; he was fine.)

As you can imagine, I was an absolute wreck by this time. Nonetheless, we persisted, and Attempt Five yanked the tooth out. It ricocheted all over the room, but we eventually found it.

So yes, people do it and it works. I’d say it’s more for the novelty of it than because of the superior effectiveness of the method, though.

Please don’t do this with an infected adult tooth.

The Three Stooges did it, that’s good enough for me.

Is anybody squicking right now at the memory of a sharp, jagged, tender gum hole and what seemed like quarts of blood?


What is “squicking” and where did it originate???

My dad did it to my sister and me with baby teeth a couple of times. I suppose he had seen it on old cartoons or TV shows or something, but I can’t say for sure.

You need to know that like you need a hole in your head. Trust me; you don’t want to know.

In this context, the approximate meaning would be “made psychologically uncomfortable”, but with a lot of other connotations based on what you don’t want to know.

I guess you can find out when

Jackass II

comes out. The end of the trailer has Don Vito with a string tied to his tooth and the other to a car and someone exclaiming “Remove the Tooth!!”