You are so excited when those first baby teeth finally show up, all white and shiny and new, filling out your baby’s gummy smile. You brush them and do everything you can to keep them healthy, because healthy teeth help your child’s overall health!
Fast forward a few years. Your baby is four. She hasn’t lost any of those baby teeth yet, but her dentist said she would need a pulpectomy and a crown. Perhaps you aren’t sure what to do. After all, she’s four; her baby teeth are going to come out soon anyway. Why not just take the tooth out and wait for the permanent tooth to grow in? It seems like it’s not worth the effort to restore a tooth that’s only temporary.
There are three good reasons why you want to do everything you can to save your child’s primary (baby) teeth.
- Teeth provide a structure for the tongue, cheeks, and lips to move against and help your child produce sounds and words. Losing teeth too early can have a detrimental effect on how he or she talks.
- Her oral anatomical development could be at risk. Since the primary teeth act as a guide for permanent teeth, when her next set start to come in, the tooth will likely not come in straight, and can become impacted, meaning trips to the orthodontist to correct it later in her life. It’s best to allow that natural “space maintainer” to stay in place and guide the adult tooth in properly.
- Age four or five is early for a child to have a gap toothed grin. It is right at the beginning of school age and right at the beginning of social awareness. Being different by missing a tooth or having a crooked permanent tooth can have a negative effect on her sense of self-esteem.
If your dentist has recommended a procedure for your child, and you’re just not sure if it’s worth it, call a family or pediatric dentist in Centennial Colorado. Young Family Dentistry can provide a second opinion and give you the best information on how to care for your child’s teeth!