An inevitable part of a child’s growth is that time when primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, fall out and adult teeth come in. For many children, primary teeth loosen and fall out on their own, but every child is different.
When you bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, we take the development of primary teeth into consideration. Here are some things to remember about your child’s teeth.
Is My Childs’ Tooth Development on Track?
Many parents come to us concerned that their child’s primary teeth have not yet fallen out. Remember that each child’s mouth is going to be unique. Typically, your child will lose their first tooth between ages 6 and 8. This usually continues through ages 10 to 13, when the last of their primary teeth are pushed out by the permanent teeth. Many children experience a break between ages 8 and 10, so don’t be alarmed if your child hasn’t lost any teeth for a while.
Reasons to Remove Primary Teeth
Crowding is an issue when a permanent tooth begins to grow next to a baby tooth. We usually recommend removal in this instance, but it is important to note that this does not solve the issue of crowding. Sometimes, palate expansion is a solution for overcrowded teeth.
Our office uses x-rays and scans to keep track of your child’s dental development. These are valuable resources in determining whether tooth extraction is advisable.
When to Wait
Sometimes, the best course of action is to wait it out. Your child’s baby teeth have an important function in holding the required space needed for permanent teeth to come in. With it comes to missing teeth, our pediatric dentist in 20003 will decide if the space in between needs to be closed. Keeping teeth in place is also good for keeping gums healthy.
What This Means for Orthodontic Treatment
We start any examination with a careful examination of your child’s teeth. We look at how many they have lost and what teeth still must come in. Your child might lose teeth at a slower pace, and this usually is not cause for concern. However, as children reach age 12 and older, we might consider removing baby teeth when planning orthodontic treatment.
If your child is getting their second molars and has yet to lose some of their baby teeth, we might consider extraction. Rest assured we will keep a careful watch, knowing fast-developing young mouths should be examined regularly.
For more information about tooth development, orthodontics and oral care for children, please contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC.