4 Things Dentists Look for When a Child Loses a Tooth

4 Things Dentists Look for When a Child Loses a Tooth
Posted on 06/10/2022

Losing-Baby-Teeth-blog-post-imageOne of the biggest transitions in a child's life is when they lose their baby teeth and adult teeth start growing in. The process is typically pretty seamless and exciting for children, but parents should check in with their child's dentist along the way. Dentist exams are essential as a child transitions to adult teeth.

Learn some of the things a dentist will look for in a child's mouth and when extra treatments become necessary for the child. A basic understanding of the process will help you decide when you need to make an appointment and move forward with proper dental treatments.

1. Adult Teeth Growth

When a child loses a baby tooth, the mouth typically prepares for the emergence of an adult tooth. Sometimes the process can go out of order. Adult teeth could grow in too rapidly and pop up behind the baby teeth. This may result in a baby tooth that falls out too early. Multiple adult teeth could grow in at the same time and create a crowded mouth.

A dentist will perform a full mouth exam to check the progress of adult tooth growth. In some cases, a dentist may perform digital x-rays to determine the position of an adult tooth. If an adult tooth pops up too early, a dentist may decide to pull the baby tooth rather than wait for it to naturally fall out.

A child's mouth needs space to fit all of the adult teeth and a dentist can help create a plan for healthy tooth growth.

2. Inflamed Gums

Along with the tooth itself, the gums have a major impact on tooth loss and proper growth. When a child loses a tooth, the gums may bleed briefly and look swollen. Concern rises with an excess amount of blood or gums that remain swollen for several days. When a child experiences a loose tooth, they may eagerly try to pull the tooth out too early.

If a baby tooth gets pulled out too early, then the roots of the teeth could become damaged and lead to excess bleeding or a gum infection. Inflamed gums can make a child's mouth vulnerable to bacteria and lead to gum problems. If you notice excessive bleeding with a child's tooth loss, then you should contact a dentist and make an appointment.

A dentist will sterilize the area and apply antibiotics to help prevent infection. As the adult tooth grows in, a dentist may book a follow-up appointment to check up on the inflammation and ensure the gums remain healthy.

3. Other Loose Teeth

Baby teeth do not follow a specific pattern when they fall out. Every child is different. You may have a child who loses both front teeth first or just one front tooth before the other. During a dental exam, a dentist can help predict the pattern. Through an exam, a dentist will see early signs of a loose tooth and which ones are on their way out.

A dentist will also see which adult teeth are currently pushing their way up and out. When you have an idea of the order, you know what to look for in a child's mouth and can ensure they don't try to pull out specific teeth too early. A dentist can teach a child when to pull and how to care for the tooth when it becomes too loose to brush effectively.

4. Tooth Care

The growth of adult teeth can create an uneven mouth for a certain amount of time. In the transition stage, proper tooth care is important. A dentist can examine the incoming teeth to make sure plaque has not formed on the surface and see if a child brushes the area properly. A dentist can also teach a child proper ways to brush hard-to-reach areas and gaps between teeth.

A dentist can also check areas for signs of grinding or tooth damage. You do not want a child to grind their new teeth down or cause damage to the new permanent teeth. A dentist can see signs of grinding and help your child prevent any problems as they transition to a full set of adult teeth.

Regular appointments with the dentist will instill a routine in your child and showcase the importance of proper tooth care. A dentist may use physical models of the mouth to showcase where the adult teeth grow in and why proper tooth care is important. Lessons from a trained professional like a dentist can have a positive impact on the child and build a strong foundation for oral care.

At the sign of your child's first loose tooth, make an appointment with us at Dentistry For Children & Adolescents. Our professionals have years of experience with children and can provide the utmost care as your child transitions to their adult teeth. We can answer any questions you have and will take your child in for emergency appointments if needed.


Dentistry for Children & Adolescents

  • Edina Office - 7373 France Ave. S., Suite 402, Edina, MN 55435 Phone: 952-831-4400
  • Burnsville Office - 14050 Nicollet Ave., Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: 952-435-4102
  • Eden Prairie Office - 6385 Old Shady Oak Road, Suite 150, Eden Prairie , MN 55344 Phone: 952-932-0920

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