Most pediatric dentists suggest taking your children to the dentist when they are around one or two years old. While dentists do not do much to the teeth of kids this young, taking them in for visits is an effective way to acquaint your children with the dentist. As your child gets older, you might encounter a situation where the dentist must remove a tooth or treat a missing tooth. Here are several things to understand about these situations in pediatric dentistry.
Reasons a Dentist Removes a Tooth from a Child
Dentists do not rush into extracting teeth from children's mouths, but they will remove them when necessary. Dentists typically only remove teeth for two reasons:
- The child's mouth is overcrowded and cannot fit all the teeth.
- The child's tooth is severely damaged from decay.
If your child has either issue, the dentist may suggest removing the tooth. Removing baby teeth from a child's mouth is a big ordeal to kids, yet it is easier for dentists to remove baby teeth compared to permanent teeth. If your child needs this service, he or she may need additional services afterward.
Reasons Some Children Have Missing Teeth
There are also times when kids have missing teeth. In some cases, kids never develop all their permanent teeth. When this occurs, the children may have all the necessary baby teeth, but they may have a few permanent teeth missing. In other cases, kids have missing teeth due to the baby teeth falling out prematurely or being extracted by a dentist.
Dentists Use Space Maintainers
When kids have missing teeth or have teeth extracted, they will often need space maintainers. A space maintainer is a small device that a dentist places in a child's mouth to hold the space where the tooth was. For example, if your child needs a molar removed before the permanent tooth, the dentist may place a space maintainer in this area to hold the space. Without this device, the other teeth may start shifting and may take over this space. When this permanent tooth comes in eventually, it may not have any room to grow in place.
If you have children, you should begin taking them to the dentist when they are young so they can get used to going. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your child, call a pediatric dentist in your area today. Look for a pediatric dentist near you like one at New England Dental Specialists of Norwood.