Your child will eventually sprout and lose all of their primary (baby teeth) in good time. At first, these are milestones and leaving them under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy can feel fun and magical to your child. But sometimes a primary tooth may need to be extracted rather than waiting for it to fall out before the permanent tooth behind it breaks through.
When Primary Teeth Need Extraction
- If an infection in a tooth destroys a large part of it along with the supporting bone structure underneath
- Extensive tooth decay that can’t support a dental filling so the tooth can’t be saved
- Crowding from too many baby teeth getting in the way of the adult teeth erupting, or to prep for orthodontic treatment
- Trauma or accidental injury that chips, cracks, or completely detaches a tooth from the socket
While extracting a primary tooth seems like it could be frightening for your child, or painful, it doesn’t have to be! Modern technological methods allow our dentist to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. You can also prepare them beforehand so that they feel calm when they come in for their tooth extraction appointment.
Primary teeth are prone to decay because their tooth enamel is not as strong as an adult, permanent tooth, and because it’s easy to be lax about their daily oral hygiene because their baby teeth will eventually be replaced. But without daily brushing and flossing, your child’s teeth are vulnerable to decay, especially if they are still brushing their own teeth.
Removing tooth decay is vital because if it is allowed to continue unchecked, the infected tooth decay can spread to surrounding teeth where it can harm adult teeth that are coming in. If a baby root canal coupled with a dental crown can’t save a tooth, extraction is the best likely solution, especially when a space maintainer is put in its place until their permanent tooth erupts.
Once the extraction is done, you may give your child an over-the-counter medication to soothe their soreness. Sometimes ice packs can help to lower inflammation and tenderness. They should stick to a soft food diet for 24 hours after their extraction (no straws allowed!). As the area continues to heal, gentle brushing and flossing can keep harmful oral bacteria from building up.
Our Sugarbug Dental team is pleased to help children with simple dental extractions as their smile continues to develop. Please call us at (805) 985-2400 for any questions about tooth extractions or to schedule your child’s next appointment.