The loss of that first baby tooth can mark an important milestone in the life of any child. The transitional process may be slightly frightening while also wildly fascinating to the child who watches as, day by day, a little more wiggle occurs. This can occur for weeks on end until the tooth finally falls out on its own. It is at this time that the Tooth Fairy may come for a visit.
As exhilarating as the loss of baby teeth can be, it is crucial not to rush the process. When these teeth are lost too soon, or need to be removed due to decay or other infection, problems may ensue. Baby teeth have value, and we don’t just mean to the Tooth Fairy!
What Should Happen
The ideal tooth loss scenario will go something like this: The baby tooth will become loose. This happens when the underlying tooth beneath it starts to push upward. The loosening can be a very gradual process, with the baby tooth leading the way for the new tooth to grow in. That baby tooth is performing a vital job. It is holding the space for that tooth to grow in. If the tooth is lost too soon, it is possible that a neighboring tooth will creep into space. This would throw off the growth pattern of the permanent tooth still making its way into the mouth. Without adequate space and guidance, the new tooth may not align as it could have; even jaw development can become imbalanced.
What Could Happen
What dentists would like to avoid is the premature loss of a baby tooth. It usually isn’t that the tooth falls out on its own before its time, but that a tooth becomes infected with a severe cavity, and needs to be removed. Sometimes, parents request that the tooth is pulled rather than restored with a filling or other method because they do not realize that the growth of future teeth depends on that tooth being present.
Ideally, baby teeth should remain in place as long as possible. They know when the time is right to come out! Until then, brush and floss your child’s teeth and instill healthy eating and snacking habits, so cavities do not become a problem.
Children 1st Dental & Surgery Center puts your child’s comfort at the top of the list! We have four offices to serve you. Contact us to schedule your visit.