When Should Your Child Have a Tooth Extracted?
When most people think about tooth extractions, they might not think about their children's teeth. Though primary, or "baby", teeth usually fall out at their own pace to make way for their permanent cousins, sometimes they need a little help. Find out more about when your child should have a tooth extracted with help from your Tampa, FL dentist, Dr. Toan Tran at Mangrove Bay Dentistry.
Primary teeth, commonly known as "baby" or "milk" teeth, usually do not need extraction. However, it may be necessary in some situations. Those situations include:
Behind Schedule Baby Teeth:
Some children do not lose their teeth as quickly as others. In most cases, this is a normal progression as every child is different. However, if the teeth become several years behind schedule, it could inhibit the growth of the permanent teeth. In this case, your Tampa dentist may help the teeth along by extracting them to make room for their permanent replacements.
Some primary teeth may require extraction due to infection or trauma. In this case, the resulting gap must be maintained so the surrounding teeth do not shift to compensate for the missing tooth. In this case, your dentist places a dental appliance to keep the space open and the appropriate size.
Children who wear braces may need some teeth removed so the teeth can move correctly. This is usually necessary in cases of heavy crowding.
Pulling baby teeth does not correct crowding. Issues such as over or under crowding, bite issues like overbite or underbite and heavily misaligned teeth require orthodontic treatment like braces. Your dentist can help you determine an effective treatment plan for your child.
Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy
A strong at-home oral care routine is crucial to your child's healthy teeth. Be sure they brush at least twice daily for at least two minutes with a soft toothbrush. Replace the toothbrush as soon as it begins to show signs of wear, usually after about a month. Floss at least once daily, using a new strand of floss for each quadrant of the mouth. This cuts down on the transfer of bacteria between areas of the mouth. Finally, be sure your child sees their dentist for a regular dental examination and cleaning at least twice a year to keep their teeth and gums healthy.