Children will eventually lose their first set of teeth, but what happens if it seems to be taking too long? There are times when baby teeth do not fall out at the expected age, and this understandably causes the parents to worry. You might even be wondering if it is necessary for a dentist to extract these teeth before they cause problems.
It is true that primary teeth that do not fall out on time may have negative consequences. They can keep the permanent teeth from coming in properly, and in the worst cases, this causes various orthodontic problems, such as crooked teeth.
Is an Extraction Necessary?
Normally, the root of a baby tooth will slowly dissolve as its replacement erupts. When the permanent tooth is unable to push the overlying tooth out, though, it takes the path of least resistance and may come out significantly crooked. This also leads to your child having two overlapping teeth, and the primary tooth may no longer have the means to fall out on its own.
Keep in mind, however, that it can take up until age 13 before your child loses their last baby tooth, and that it is normal for them not to lose teeth between ages of 8 and 10. This is usually when most parents start worrying, but this period of inactivity is perfectly natural. Many children also do not strictly follow the average timeline for losing baby teeth; they may lose them earlier, later, or in a different order.
Generally speaking, there are three possible situations where extraction would be necessary:
- The primary tooth is preventing the permanent tooth from erupting properly
- The permanent tooth has erupted, yet the baby tooth remains solid and immobile
- The child is experiencing discomfort or pain
A simple X-ray at the dental clinic will reveal whether there are actual problems that need to be addressed, or if it is just a case of slow development.
Taking your kids to the dentist regularly is essential for preventing dental complications and treating them early on. We will closely monitor the development of your child’s primary and permanent teeth, ensuring that everything is in order. If tooth extraction, early interceptive braces, or any other corrective treatment is necessary, we can explain what you should expect. Contact us today for an appointment.