Long In The Tooth: What To Do When Children's Teeth Remain Too Long

Usually, "long in the tooth" means that you are old and wise. However, it could mean something else. It can mean that baby teeth have overstayed their welcome in your child's mouth. The teeth have been there too long, and they are, and will, cause multiple problems. Here is what you can do to move things along with dental development.

Visit a Dentist to Get X-Rays

First and foremost, visit a dentist and request x-rays. The x-rays will not only point out which baby teeth need to go, but also the oral problems that are occurring. Then you and your child's dentist can formulate a treatment plan.

Start Wiggling Teeth

As long as the baby teeth clearly have an adult tooth directly under them, you can help your child wiggle out the baby teeth. Begin wiggling them daily to help loosen them. Extra visits from the tooth fairy is always a good motivator for kids to wiggle out teeth, but you need to make sure that your child knows exactly which teeth to wiggle and which ones to leave alone.

Pull them with a bit of yarn or thread as soon as they are loose enough. This will help create space for the adult teeth and reduce the current crowding your child may be experiencing. If you are unable to yank the baby teeth at home, or you are squeamish about doing so, dentists provide various dental services that can help pull out those teeth.

Surgery and Spacers

Another service your dentist can provide is surgery to remove the stubborn baby teeth. This may be necessary if the baby teeth have roots that are wedged under teeth nearby. Then your dentist may use spacers to widen the gaps so that the adult teeth can make it through. An orthodontic device, an arch widener, may be used to create more room for the adult teeth as well.

Talk to Your Dentist about Your Child's Options

Some baby teeth stay put too long because they originally came in late when the teeth first broke the gums. If that is the case, the teeth are just doing what they are supposed to; staying until their predetermined time is up. Your dentist may decide to give your child's remaining baby teeth a couple more months to see if they come out on their own. If they do, then other issues can be addressed. If the teeth do not come out on their own, then your dentist will intervene.

Contact a dental office, like All About Smiles pllc, for more help.