It’s always exciting for your little one when they lose a baby tooth. Here comes the tooth fairy! Most children begin to lose their primary pearly whites around the age of six due to their permanent ones pushing through the gums. However, things don’t always go as planned and sometimes a tooth extraction will be needed for your child’s oral health. Read on to learn the reasons for a baby tooth removal and some necessary information for you if your child will be going through the procedure.
Why Would a Baby Tooth Need to Be Extracted?
There are a few reasons why a dentist may determine that it would be best for your child to have a baby tooth removed, including:
- Extreme decay: Primary teeth have thinner enamel than permanent teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. If a cavity is severe enough, it could possibly lead to the point where the tooth must be removed to prevent the spread of infection.
- Severe gum disease: While it is very rare for children to have advanced gum disease, it can happen. Severe gum infection can cause the teeth to come loose, requiring extractions if they don’t fall out on their own.
- Preparation or avoidance of orthodontics: Baby teeth that remain for too long can get in the way of orthodontic treatment, making an extraction necessary if your child is about to get braces. On the other hand, removing a baby tooth may make space for surrounding teeth, possibly preventing the need for orthodontic treatment later in life.
- Trauma or injuries: Your child may have chipped or broken a tooth due to an accident or a fall. While a damaged baby tooth can be salvaged in certain cases, it may have to be removed if beyond repair or saving.
It’s important to remember that a tooth extraction is always a last resort! Your dentist’s first priority is keeping your child’s natural tooth unless it’s truly what’s best for your child’s oral health.
Preparing Your Little One for a Tooth Extraction
If your child needs a tooth removed, you can expect two extraction types: simple or complex. A simple extraction is when a tooth is removed that’s already above the gum line, while a complex removal will be below the gum line, requiring stronger sedation or local anesthesia to remove it.
In both cases, your dental team will ensure they are as safe and comfortable as possible throughout the entire procedure. They can help you prepare your child and give you any recommended instructions beforehand.
What Should be Done After the Procedure?
While your child will likely feel some discomfort after the procedure, prescribed medication or recommended over-the-counter pain reliever will help them to be comfortable and at ease. Be mindful to keep the surgical site covered with gauze and have them rest with their head elevated. This will allow blood clots to form and ensure complete healing. Have your little one’s favorite soft foods (like sugar-free pudding, soup, and 100% fruit popsicles) ready to give them, and make sure they drink lots of water.
Your child—and their smile—mean the world to you. With care from your dentist, you can help them to be strong and healthy for years to come!
About the Practice
HJ Dental is eager to help keep your family’s smiles whole, healthy, and beautiful through the expertise of its team of dentists. They offer a comprehensive range of services, including restorative and emergency care. By using advanced dental technology and personalized plans, they can help solve any oral health issue for you or your child. To schedule an appointment, contact them through their website or call (214) 521-3148.