Cosmetic Dental group
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It can be a really exciting (and costly!) time when your child loses their first baby tooth. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do when you child’s teeth start becoming loose can help to prepare you both.
Preparing Your Child for That First Tooth Loss
Childhood is full of important milestones and the moment your child led to prepare them for this event so they know what to expect, using only positive words. Most children will typically begin to lose their primary teeth between the ages of five and seven. By this stage your child may have heard of the Tooth Fairy and could even be a bit excited about the prospect of losing their first tooth.
Tell them that their baby tooth will begin to wiggle as it becomes loose and you might also want to visit your local bookshop because there are some great books that can help prepare children for this stage in their life.
You Should Never Try to Pull out a Child’s Tooth
It’s perfectly okay for your child to wiggle their loose tooth with their tongue or finger but you shouldn’t try to prematurely remove the tooth. Your child will know exactly what it feels like and how much the tooth can be moved before it feels uncomfortable or painful so don’t try to force the tooth to come out before it’s ready.
Helping Them Cope with Any Discomfort
Their loose tooth may feel uncomfortable or even painful as it can cause the gums surrounding the tooth to become swollen or tender. Once the tooth falls out these problems will soon disappear but until they do your child might want some extra comfort. You can use child appropriate painkillers to help relieve any discomfort and they might find it’s soothing to have a cold compress or flannel placed on their face. If the pain is more severe, then they may need anti-inflammatory medications and it could be best to discuss this with our dentist in Jersey or with the pharmacist or your doctor to make sure you get the correct dosage. Anti-inflammatories include acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Caring for Their Mouth Once the Tooth Falls out
Once the tooth has fallen out then it will leave behind a small wound in their gums. Until this wound heals, it’s important not to let your child use any harsh mouthwash and be very gentle when brushing their mouth. Initially they may find it more comfortable to eat softer foods just until the gum begins to heal. Don’t forget about the Tooth Fairy or otherwise it can be nice to give your child a small reward to help reinforce this as being a positive experience.
Coping with the Eruption of Permanent Teeth
As their adult teeth come through, this can cause some gums soreness. The very last teeth to come through are the second and third molars. The second molars make an appearance around age 12 while the third molars or wisdom teeth begin to come through around age 18. Any symptoms of discomfort can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
Looking after Adult Teeth
Once the adult teeth emerge, good dental care is even more important. By age 7 your child may be able to brush on their own but they will still need help with flossing until they gain sufficient dexterity for this task. It is important to check they are brushing thoroughly and a fun way to check is to use disclosing solution that will stain any areas they have left out. Our children’s dentist in Jersey and our hygienists can help with oral hygiene education, offering advice and practical demonstrations so your child will grow up knowing exactly what is needed to maintain a healthy smile.
What Happens If a Child Needs Orthodontics?
By age 7 it’s possible for our children’s dentist in Jersey to tell if a child may require orthodontic care. Some children have oral habits that may have affected the development of their teeth and jaws and which include snoring, mouth breathing tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. These habits can cause the upper palate to narrow, creating problems with overcrowding and misalignment. At this age, your child can receive an early orthodontic evaluation and if necessary a treatment plan can be developed. Dr Jonathan Wood, our clinical director here at the Cosmetic Dental Group practices orthopaedic orthodontics and is very experienced in treating young children.
Often treatment is divided into two separate phases, taking advantage of a young child’s growth spurts to gently guide the growth of their jaw bones, creating more room for the adult teeth to erupt normally. The second phase tends to focus more on aligning teeth, creating a more cosmetically perfect smile where the teeth correctly occlude or bite together. One possible treatment for very young children is to use what’s called a Myobrace and everyone at the practice has received training in using this appliance.
Why Use Myobrace?
Treatment using the Myobrace system can be given to children as early as age four but optimal treatment times are between the ages of six and 10. At this stage a child’s jaws are still developing and growing and the Myobrace is a functional device that helps to correct problems caused by mouth breathing, thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. The devices used for just 1 to 2 hours each day and is worn overnight. It is combined with regular activities to help improve your child’s muscle function, tongue position and breathing. Myobrace uses light intermittent forces to realign the teeth and helps to create optimal facial development and potentially a nicer profile for your child.
The idea behind early orthodontic treatment is not merely to straighten up teeth. Instead the treatment plan created by our dentist in Jersey concentrates on making sure there is sufficient room for adult teeth to erupt normally rather than extracting teeth to create additional space. Early treatment also concentrates on making sure teeth occlude or bite together correctly and that the jaws are nicely aligned so your child can breathe normally and freely. By the time treatment is completed your child should have a nice attractive smile and most importantly it will be healthy.
If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth then please contact our practice so we can arrange a comprehensive evaluation.