Losing teeth is a part of growing up. Kids usually have their first full set of teeth by the time they are three, and as they get older, those teeth naturally fall out as the permanent teeth come in. “Naturally” is the key word, since the baby teeth fall out when it is time for an adult tooth to erupt. However, if your child loses a tooth before the permanent one is ready to erupt, due to injury or tooth decay, it could cause problems for your child later, since the permanent teeth may erupt at the wrong angles.
If your child loses a tooth before its time, you should contact our dentist, Dr. Rakhi Jani. The dentist may suggest using a space maintainer to maintain the right alignment in your child’s smile.
A removable maintainer is good for older children. It is essentially a temporary tooth used to keep the remaining teeth from drifting and keeping the space open for the permanent tooth. A younger child may require a fixed maintainer, which is cemented into place. They are also frequently used for missing molars. Space maintainers come in different smiles, and the dentist will be able to determine which one is right for your child.
The space maintainer is not a real tooth, but it needs the right care in order to do its job correctly. This means brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Until it is time for the spacer to be removed, your child should avoid gum, and sticky foods or hard foods to keep from damaging it.
While losing a tooth is normal if your child loses a tooth because of an injury, you should call our dental office in Livermore, California. You should also bring your child in for regular visits to Smiles Unlimited so we can monitor your child’s smile for tooth decay and other problems. Call 925.344.5757 today to plan your visit.