A common question we get is, does my child need to have their baby teeth removed? Most baby teeth (or primary teeth) fall out by themselves. There are times when having baby teeth removed by your dentist is not only necessary, but beneficial to your child. There are also times where it is more beneficial to not have baby teeth removed, and allow them to fall out on their own. Here are a few reasons why baby teeth may need to be removed:
1. Guidance of Eruption
Sometimes baby teeth need to be removed to change the eruption pattern of the permanent teeth. This is most commonly done in the area of maxillary canines. If there is a problem with the angulation of the permanent canines that is not detected early enough, they can even cause damage to the other permanent teeth. By having the baby teeth removed early in this situation, you may be able to avoid potential damage to other permanent teeth and future surgery.
2. Falling behind schedule
In cases where the adult tooth is ready to come in, or has already come in, it is sometimes best to have the baby teeth removed. The adult tooth will find a place to erupt, and if the baby tooth is still present, the adult tooth will often come into the wrong place requiring braces later to correct.
3. Infection or Trauma
Your dentist may need to extract a baby tooth if it is causes an infection. This can happen if a baby tooth has a large cavity, which can cause inflammation and pain. When it is best to remove the baby tooth in this situation, a space maintainer may be needed in order to hold space for the adult tooth to come in.
In other cases, the baby teeth should be maintained as long as possible until the adult teeth are ready to come in. This is because they maintain space for the adult teeth. That is why dentists will restore baby teeth when they have cavities. As every case is different, we recommend coming in for a consultation so we can take a look at your teeth. As always, our consultations are free, and we are happy to make recommendations when it comes to when baby teeth should be removed.