By Susan Braden
Cheap dental care is a necessity, especially for children who have experienced premature loss of teeth. It is in the best interest of children and their parents that primaries are lost only at the appropriate time. If your child loses a baby tooth due to accident or injury, here's what to do:
For more information, visit the Mom's Guide to Caring for Little Teeth.
Still, many parents believe that if a few of their young children's primary teeth (baby teeth) fall out prematurely or are knocked out, it is not a big deal. Even though your child's original tooth set should eventually fall out as the permanents begin to push them loose, the premature loss of even one can affect your child's overall oral health. There are several reasons for this.
Your children's permanent teeth will follow their primary ones, so you want their primaries to remain in good shape. If you take care of your children's baby teeth, then their permanents will most likely enter straight and in good condition. An added benefit is that if your children's permanents come in straight, it will ease the burden on your pocketbook. Straight teeth lead to cheap treatment later in life!
If a primary tooth is knocked out, it may do serious damage to your child's mouth. Sometimes a missing tooth can be replaced, or the original one put back into its proper place, but not always. There may be hidden bone or gum damage from the loss of the primary, even if the damage is not immediately visible. Leave a period of no longer than 30 minutes, if possible, between your child's tooth loss and your arrival at a dentist to have it put back in place.
According to a study published in General Dentistry, children are more likely to lose their permanents early in life if they also lost their primaries prematurely. This is because when a primary is knocked out, the roots and surrounding gums are still in a developing stage. A great way to protect your children's primaries is to ensure that they wear mouthguards during sports and other physical activities. The fewer baby teeth that are knocked out, the more affordable care may be available for your family.
Remember that protecting your child's mouth and preparing for such a situation today may allow for cheap dental work later if a tooth loss emergency arises.