Most children will lose all their baby teeth -- also known as primary or milk teeth -- naturally by the time they reach the age of 13. However, sometimes extraction may be required if your child is suffering from crowding or shark tooth. Both of these conditions can force oncoming permanent teeth to come through at odd angles, cause severe toothaches or infections, and hinder the growth patterns of the surrounding teeth. Here is what you need to know about these conditions to avoid these consequences.
What is Crowding and "Shark Tooth"?
Crowding obstructs the permanent teeth, making it difficult for them to push their way out. When it occurs, tooth extraction may be required so the permanent teeth aren't forced to erupt in an unnatural place. Fortunately, orthodontists can pinpoint problems in advance with a simple x-ray.
Shark tooth is one of the most common symptoms of baby tooth crowding. This condition occurs when the permanent tooth erupts before the baby tooth falls out, causing a double row of front teeth. While it's a common condition that's no cause for concern, extraction is usually the best form of treatment. In most circumstances the permanent tooth will naturally migrate to its correct position afterwards.
How Can I Help My Child Deal With Extraction?
Although tooth extraction is a very common procedure, it can be a very scary experience for children. Avoid saying words, such as "pull" and "needle" in front of them and emphasise how safe the operation will be. Your dentist should have a consultation with you and your child to explain how the procedure will work. In most circumstances your child will be administered local anesthesia, which will eliminate the pain.
After the extraction, your child should stay with the dentist until a homeostasis develops and the bleeding is manageable. Further post-operative care regarding dietary requirements, cleaning and pain relief should be written down. The anesthesia will make your child's face numb for a few hours after the operation; therefore, you should supervise them to make sure they're not biting or sucking the surrounding flesh until feeling returns.
Baby teeth may be temporary, but they can still affect your child's development, even after they've been removed. Tooth extractions for crowding and shark tooth are rarely a quick fix. In most circumstances if your child requires an extraction, they will also require orthodontic care in the future. Make sure your child understands that the removal is for their long-term health and wellbeing and won't solve problems overnight.
For more information and tips, contact a local dental office, like High Street Dental.