When a dentist surgically removes a primary tooth, it is often called a “baby tooth extraction.” As a parent, if you ever hear a dentist say that your child needs their tooth pulled, you’ll certainly want to understand why. Isn’t that baby tooth going to fall out anyway? The truth is this is one of the most common pediatric dentistry procedures. Continue reading to learn from a pediatric dentist in Castle Rock reasons why children’s tooth extractions are sometimes necessary and get some aftercare tips.
Why Would a Child Need a Tooth Extraction?
- Orthodontic Treatment: Sometimes, baby teeth can get in the way of adult teeth coming in when they aren’t lined up correctly. If they are not removed in time, dental crowding is a possibility. Extractions may be necessary to avoid the need for braces in the future.
- Gum Disease: When gingivitis is left untreated, pediatric periodontal disease could develop. This is a serious condition that affects the gums and jawbone. If baby teeth are not falling out on their own, they typically need to be removed.
- Tooth Decay: Unfortunately, baby teeth are more prone to develop decay because the enamel is very fragile. Also, children are less likely to be as thorough with oral hygiene, making them more vulnerable to cavities. If left untreated, decay can lead to more serious oral health issues. Sometimes, an extraction is simply the best option.
- Trauma: If your little one’s tooth is cracked, chipped, or detached as a result of an injury or accident, it might be saved with a baby root canal. However, in some cases, it is necessary to have the tooth removed.
Aftercare Tips for Children’s Tooth Extractions
Your child may experience mild-to-moderate discomfort after the procedure. A children’s dentist recommends these tips to reduce symptoms:
- Soft Foods: Your child should stick to softer foods for a few days after their procedure. Some great options include cooked veggies, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Remember they should not use a straw or spit vigorously for about a week. Otherwise, they risk accidentally dislodging the blood clot that is necessary for the surgical site to heal properly.
- Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen can help relieve pain. Your child may also be prescribed antibiotics to speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of infection.
- Cold Compress: A natural method to reduce pain and inflammation is applying an ice pack or cold compress. Icing the outside of the jaw helps make the healing process more comfortable.
Children’s tooth extractions are nothing to look forward to, but they are sometimes necessary to maintain a healthy smile. By following the tips above, your child will feel like grinning again soon!
About the Author
Dr. Layne Benzley earned his dental doctorate from the University of Iowa and went on to attain his pediatric dental specialty certificate from the University of Rochester. He recognizes that every patient has different needs, so Dr. Benzley prides himself on gentle, individualized care. If you think your child may need a tooth extracted, schedule an appointment on his website or call (303) 660-5373.