It’s a rite of passage in most families. The kids show off their loose teeth to their parents, then hide the fallen teeth under their pillows in the hopes that the tooth fairy will take them away. Generations of American parents have pulled their children’s baby teeth and traded coins for them in the middle of the night. But when it comes to caring for your children’s dental health, is this the right thing for you to do? In many cases, parents pulling their own children’s baby teeth is perfectly fine, but there are times when it’s best for a professional to do the job. The only way to tell is by making sure your child gets her bi-annual dental checkup.
WHEN THERE’S DENTAL DECAY
Having a dental professional surgically remove a baby tooth isn’t done every time, but an increasingly common reason to do so is dental decay. If the tooth has decayed past the point where it can be crowned or filled, extraction may be the next best option.Tooth decay in children can create the same problems like that in permanent teeth, including:
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth abscesses
- Pain and discomfort
- Infection that spreads to the jaw
After your pediatric dentist has removed the decayed tooth, you should adjust your child’s diet and oral hygiene habits to prevent decay in the permanent teeth, once they grow in.
WHEN A TOOTH IS BROKEN
Children often break teeth while playing or in sports activities. If your child has a broken tooth positioned over a permanent one that’s due to erupt soon, your dental professional may elect to simply remove the baby tooth instead of trying to repair it. The process is simpler, potentially less painful, and definitely less expensive than repairing a broken baby tooth.
WHEN A BABY TOOTH IS IMPACTED
When people think of impacted teeth, they often picture wisdom teeth. But some baby teeth can be impacted, as well. An impacted tooth is one that hasn’t erupted when expected, or that doesn’t have room to grow in. So if your child has impacted canine teeth that aren’t growing in, if your dentist feels they’re compromising your child’s oral health, she may decide to remove them.
The same thing is true if your child has an extremely small jaw that doesn’t offer enough room for all the baby teeth to erupt. Your dentist might choose to surgically remove some of the teeth in order to leave room for the others to grow normally.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS GETTING BRACES
If your child has lost the first round of baby teeth and is waiting for the rest to fall out before getting fitted for braces, your dentist may elect to remove the remaining baby teeth to encourage the permanent teeth to erupt and begin to grow into the correct place. If your child needs extensive work to straighten her teeth, beginning the process early can be the best plan, and that can include removing those last few baby teeth.
If your child is going to have her baby teeth removed in the dentist office, for any reason, it’s important for you to prepare her for the procedure, and discuss the post-operative instructions in detail with your dentist office before you begin the process.
FORGING A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOOD ORAL HEALTH OR LIFE
Your child’s experience at the dentist can make or break their relationship with this professional for life, so only the most skilled Houston prosthodontists will do. Maple Leaf Dental can turn back time, replacing your damaged teeth with artificial ones that even your mother won’t notice. Call us at (281) 497-5558 or email us to get started. Your smile won’t wait forever!
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