Future Tense

Hot New Parenting Trend: Using a Drone to Pull Out a Kid’s Loose Tooth

Yahoo News U.K. has a report from Wednesday about a father who tied dental floss to his daughter’s loose tooth, tied the other end to his quadcopter, and then flew the drone into the air to pull the tooth out. When I first saw a tweet about it, I thought the whole thing was a bizarre, possibly Edgar Allen Poe–inspired fluke. You can find anything on the Internet! But no. This is apparently a whole genre of videos. I shouldn’t be so surprised. America’s Funniest Home Videos was premised on the idea that people do things like this.

The tooth-pulling-by-drone genre seems to be a descendent of another Internet video trend. A couple of years ago, parents started posting footage of themselves tying a string between their child’s loose tooth and a door knob, and then slamming the door. Of course, that trick has been around for ages, but the Internet made it into a performance.

Assessing the slam method, John Rubinstein, a New York dentist, told Slate in 2014, “If the tooth is loose and it’s bothersome to the child, there’s nothing wrong with removing it that way. … Sure, you could say, ‘Someone could get hurt’ or ‘It could cause an infection,’ but the chances of that happening are extremely remote.”

You could say that. And when people are swapping out a door for a drone, I am going to say that. What if your kid is stronger than your drone and it comes crashing down? What if you make a wrong move with the remote control? Someone could get poked in the eye, or cut, by a propellor.

Also, everyone seems to think that they’re the first to make videos like this. For a lot of people, consumer drones are still a novel technology, sure, but if you’re hooking your kid’s tooth up to a flying machine to make history, don’t bother. The Internet always beats you to every dumb idea.