Dental Care

Losing Baby Teeth

Losing baby teeth explained. Around the age of six a child will begin to lose their “baby teeth”.

These are the teeth that began to emerge from their gums at roughly the age of six months and which were fully emerged by the age of thirty months.

These baby teeth would have required a lot of attention and maintenance, even though you knew that they were only temporary. Now, as your baby is turning six, they come to you to show you that one of the teeth is loose!

If you could travel back in time, you would see that this first wiggling tooth is also the very first tooth that you would have ever seen poking through their gums. In fact, your child will lose their baby teeth in exactly the same order in which they arrived.

Losing Baby Teeth Is a Natural Thing

Now, before we go any further into this explanation about the lifecycle of baby teeth, we need to consider one of the most significant issues connected to them – their impermanence.

Because baby teeth are known to fall out and get replaced by adult teeth, a lot of parents overlook the tremendous significance of them.

They may not implement a good system for oral hygiene, they may not do anything if a baby tooth is accidentally knocked out, and they may not believe that they need to get a baby tooth filled if it has a cavity. Sadly, in all of these issues they would be wrong.

Firstly, any parent that begins their child’s life with good daily oral hygiene is setting them up for a much healthier adulthood. This is because healthy teeth and gums are linked to all around good health too. In fact, an adult with gingivitis (gum disease) is far more likely to struggle with issues like diabetes, heart disease, bad breath, and even stroke.

Next, the parent who shrugs their shoulders and says that they don’t have to do anything about prematurely losing baby teeth is setting their child up for a lot of difficulties later on.

This is because all baby teeth sit directly atop the adult teeth that will eventually grow and emerge through the gum tissue to replace them.

Losing baby teeth before their natural time allows the remaining baby teeth to shift, and this narrows or even eliminates the channel into which the adult tooth was to grow.

This can lead to severely crooked adult teeth, but it will also change the natural bite pattern that the child has too. This can lead to jaw problems, headaches, bruxism, chipped teeth and more.

The situation is easily remedied by the use of a “spacer” that is professionally inserted by the dentist. These are permanent fixtures that remain in place until a child loses the surrounding teeth.

Because we know the general order of appearance where baby teeth are concerned, we can also usually accurately gauge when the baby tooth would be lost. This too helps with ensuring that a space is positioned correctly and for the proper amount of time.

Losing Baby Teeth by Cavities

Lastly, a baby tooth with a cavity is painful to a child even though the anatomy of baby teeth is a bit different than adult teeth. Baby teeth have a large blood vessel and nerve chamber and no deep roots, but a decaying baby tooth can easily infect the surrounding tissue and create damage and distress.

This can cause problems in the adult tooth concealed beneath the gum tissue. Often an adult tooth that emerges full of pitting and darkening is one that was sitting beneath a baby tooth that had been allowed to decay and fall out as well.

So, we now understand the significance of tending to baby teeth and protecting them until they are lost at a natural pace. We know that we cannot ignore teeth being lost accidentally or to decay, and we know that oral hygiene is essential to their health.

We have also noted that the natural process of losing baby teeth occurs in the same order in which they emerged, and that their spacing and position allow adult teeth to enter the mouth in a good alignment.

Professional Dentistry

What about dentistry? At what point in the lifecycle of baby teeth should a parent get proper dental care for their child.

Most experts would say that from ten to twelve months in age is the right time to visit the dentist, and from every six months after that.

The dentist will keep a watchful eye on the condition of the child’s teeth, monitor for decay or problems, and do all necessary repairs to ensure that the child is comfortable and that the adult teeth are well protected.

Most children will lose baby teeth for several years, with the age of 12 or 13 being the extreme age for the loss of the final teeth.

Coating or Not

There will never be another time in your child’s life when their molars or pre-molars are so open to different treatments.

In the modern era, many parents will be encouraged to have their children’s adult teeth sealed topically as they emerge and settle into their permanent positions.

The theoretical idea behind this is that the compounds used to seal teeth can prevent a great deal of external decay from occurring.

Coating the surfaces of the permanent teeth in the best circumstances can prevent the development of external decay from occurring but it is always a good idea to inform oneself totally.

Preventive coating is still a controversial topic with opinions in favor and against, as some people claim they developed tooth decay underneath the so-called protective coating.

Aligning the Biters

It can be a great time to visit an orthodontist for the first time too.

While losing baby teeth, many children’s permanent teeth begin to emerge in a pattern that makes it clear that there will be some issues with alignment.

A good orthodontist can work with a patient to see that the teeth are dealt with in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

This can also help parents to avoid the somewhat excessive costs of braces as well.


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