Should I be worried that my twelve year old still has baby teeth?
Some teeth, like their back molars have to stay until they are around twelve years old. Other baby teeth that are still there may be fine but there are some things to check for to be certain.
First, I’m assuming your child has had x-rays done and they haven’t mentioned they have any congenitally missing adult teeth. If you haven’t had dental x-rays in a while get that done first. It can tell you how the adult teeth are developing underneath the baby teeth which are still left.
If there are adult teeth coming in but the baby tooth is loose enough for you to wiggle, then just let nature takes its course. If the adult teeth are trying to come in but you can’t wiggle the baby teeth, it’s time to see your pediatric dentist. They’ll need to pull the stubborn baby teeth. Without removing them, the adult teeth will get pushed out of their proper alignment, leading to the need for braces later in life. You want to avoid that if at all possible.
Removing baby teeth is much less traumatic than adult teeth. However, your child may feel more relaxed if you have the dentist provide some level of dental sedation for him or her. It can be light sedation, such as nitrous oxide.
Dealing with Congenitally Missing Teeth
If your child has congenitally missing teeth, it’s always easiest to leave the baby tooth there for as long as possible. However, if it falls out or is visibly different from the other teeth in a way that makes your son or daughter self-conscious, you can get a temporary tooth replacement for them.
I’d recommend something simple and inexpensive, like a dental flipper until their jaw is fully developed. AFter that time, you can give them a permanent replacement, such as a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by the Akron Dentists of Angel Dental Care.