Parents frequently ask about the best time to locate a pediatric dentist for their children. The answer creates a look of surprise because it’s hard to imagine a checkup before the infant turns one! It’s so exciting to see the first baby tooth erupt through the gums when an infant is about six months old. Although the teeth continue to grow in until the child is about 3 years old, the first dental appointment is often scheduled shortly after the first baby teeth appear.
Pediatric dentists acquire a huge amount of knowledge about the purpose of baby teeth. Not only do the small teeth allow infants to eat solid food, they act as space maintainers until the permanent teeth make their appearance. During a primary checkup, a children’s dentist determines if the exposed teeth are strong and healthy and checks the gums for any signs of infection or stress, including the chance of crooked or crowded permanent teeth.
Primary teeth sometimes fall out before their time for several reasons. The first set may also fall out before the permanent teeth are ready to erupt. When this happens, space maintainers may be used to support and hold a place inside the mouth until adult teeth appear and fill the gaps.
There’s an assortment of reasons for losing baby teeth early, including tooth decay and genetics. Trauma is a prevalent cause of dental injury because the mouth is susceptible to accidents like falling and sporting incidents. If there isn’t a placeholder, any of the erupting permanent teeth can fill the space whether it’s the right place or not. That can cause other teeth to come in crooked and misalign teeth already in place.
A baby tooth may get knocked out or broken shortly before the permanent teeth are ready to erupt. One advantage of having a kid’s dentist who is familiar with your child’s dental history is that records are available for review. The dental team know each child and any special situations, and a child is less likely to be afraid when they recognize the person who’s helping them. Pediatric dentists and their staff are kid-friendly and use techniques to calm children down so they relax during the exam and treatment.
Just one missing primary tooth can cause other teeth to loosen and shift to fill the empty space. The pediatric dentist may decide space maintainers are unnecessary, but the proactive step of taking your child in for an exam and evaluation provides peace of mind. For additional information about our services, please contact us at Richmond Pediatric Dentistry at 765-966-7602.