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Early Tooth Loss in Children

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What to do if Your Children Begin Losing Primary Teeth Early

Parents are often left with a conundrum once their children begin losing their teeth. When the tooth fairy gives your child the idea their mouth has become a money pit, a parent should take note if a primary tooth is lost before it’s ready. A major issue with a baby tooth being lost too early is that it can cause problems if action isn’t taken to preserve the space where the tooth was. With many of these issues depending on the child’s stage of dental development, it can cause impaction or misalignment of the incoming permanent teeth if the mouth isn’t ready. Although baby teeth seem transitional, these teeth provide:

  • Chewing with the teeth help your child’s jaw bones develop and grow properly.
  • For proper language and speech, teeth are necessary for development.
  • Baby teeth are important for well-being and self-esteem.

Normal Age and Order of Tooth Loss in Children

As each child has their own internal clock regarding when their baby teeth and adult teeth develop, there’s a few general ages when the processes begin taking place. By the time the child reaches two to two and a half years, all of its baby teeth should have erupted into the mouth with teeth beginning to come in at six months old. By the time the child reaches twelve, all of the baby teeth should have fallen out and the permanent teeth have replaced them. A healthy time frame to expect teeth falling out is between four and eight, but the average child begins to lose these teeth around age six.

Why Do Kids Lose Teeth Prematurely?

Children lose baby teeth early for many reasons, including but not limited to:Normal Age and Order of Tooth Loss in Children

  • Immunity Problems
  • Dental/Periodontal Disease
  • Blood Disease
  • Traumatic Experiences
  • Diabetes/Metabolic Disorders

Dental Space Maintainers

To avoid future complications with speech or development after a child loses baby their teeth, it may be necessary to fill the space that the baby teeth once occupied. If you feel as if the missing baby tooth can present problems, a dentist may apply space retainers to fill spots that could take some time to be filled with a permanent tooth. You can have removable space retainers applied, but if the permanent tooth is on its way to erupt… the spacers may not be needed. A space retainer may be needed if space is an important issue or the child is in need of braces. What’s great about space maintainers is that they can be custom made by an orthodontist or dentist. Although they keep space in the mouth until the permanent teeth come in, they still require upkeep and cleaning because they can still trap debris and food which results in gum irritation or cavities to the surrounding teeth.

Response to Traumatic Loss of Tooth?

If your child happens to lose a tooth that is permanent, there’s still hope it can be replaced. The best approach is to stay calm and control any bleeding that may be taking place. If you can find the tooth, place it in milk or saline solution to keep it alive until you can receive attention from a doctor if the injury is severe enough. Once possible, schedule an appointment with a dentist to get the tooth back where it belongs. Since the tooth is important if it happens to be permanent, rinse it off with milk and replant the tooth immediately. To handle the situation until you can meet with a dentist, you’ll need:

  • Gauze
  • A handkerchief
  • Saline solution
  • A container with a lid
  • Ibuprofen

Taking an aspirin thins the blood, which can cause a problem if the bleeding is severe. Ibuprofen is the safe bet and less hazardous if you’re bleeding and in pain.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Primary Teeth

Regular teeth upkeep can be followed often once the teeth arrive. For baby teeth, clean them with gauze, finger-cot, or a clean wet washcloth to keep them safe from lingering food and perform this once a day. Once more teeth are present you can begin to use soft bristled toothbrushes for cleaning their teeth.  Make sure you schedule a dentist appointment near the child’s first birthday to make sure their baby teeth are looking great and coming in properly. Although baby teeth are temporary, they still need upkeep that permanent teeth require such as limiting sugar consumption and fluoride/sealant protection.

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