Injury. Tooth decay. Overcrowding. These are just a few of the reasons that may find yourself researching more about your child’s tooth extraction.
Adults aren’t the only ones who sometimes need a tooth removed. If your dentist recommends a pediatric tooth extraction for your child, here’s everything you should know about the process.
The Top 3 Reasons for Pediatric Tooth Extraction
You hope that your young child won’t endure tooth decay, but it’s a common problem in primary teeth.
The enamel on baby teeth is very fragile, so it doesn’t offer the same protection as the enamel on adult teeth. Children are also more likely to skip brushing or brush with incorrect form, which makes their mouth even more prone to cavities and decay.
Cavities are easy to treat, but if left untreated for too long they can cause serious oral health issues. For example, an infection may develop, or bacteria can spread to other areas of the mouth and affect the development of permanent teeth.
When your child’s decaying tooth becomes too severe to treat, your dentist may recommend extraction as the best solution.
Trauma or Injury
Children are naturally active and excited, so accidents and injuries are expected. Unfortunately, these accidents sometimes involve the teeth and mouth as well.
A pediatric root canal or dental crown can sometimes fix the damage and save the tooth, but in severe cases, only extraction is the only option.
Baby teeth don’t always grow into the mouth in perfect alignment. It’s common for baby teeth to sit too close together or even emerge on top of one another. This type of overcrowding is a concern because it increases the likelihood of decay in the mouth. Your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction to reduce crowding and help your child’s mouth stay healthy.
How Is a Child’s Tooth Extraction Performed?
Your Brighton, CO pediatric dentist takes every measure to ensure your child remains calm and comfortable during tooth extraction. The process begins with a bit of numbing jelly. This is a topical medicine that helps the gums fall asleep. Once the numbing jelly has done its job, it is followed by some “sleep juice” to help the tooth fall asleep.
Many patients report their cheeks or lips feel enlarged due to the medicine we place to numb the tooth. Sometimes, patients feel a little pressure during the extraction which is normal. Other times they feel nothing at all!
Your child does remain awake for the extraction, but she won’t be in any pain. Nitrous oxide and laughing gas are simple, safe solutions to help your little one relax if needed. Laughing gas may even make your child so relaxed that she falls asleep!
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Now that your child’s tooth extraction is complete, it’s time to focus on aftercare. Post-extraction care is just as important as the procedure itself, since attentive aftercare supports healing and prevents unwanted complications.
Follow these tips to make sure your child stays as comfortable and safe as possible after her tooth extraction:
- Apply pressure to gauze pad to reduce bleeding immediately after extraction. Dampen gauze with water if it begins to dry out.
- For 24-48 hours after extraction, keep your child’s head elevated with pillows while she relaxes. Watching a movie or reading are much safer options than playing outside and running around.
- Brush areas around the extraction site to keep your child’s mouth clean.
- Make sure your child doesn’t touch or pick at the extraction site
- Reduce swelling by pressing ice packs around the mouth
- Serve soft foods that don’t require intense chewing
- Keep your child hydrated with water and other healthy fluids
Believe it or not, it only takes a healthy mouth about two days to heal from a baby tooth extraction! It won’t take long for your child to feel back to normal.
Ask Your Brighton, CO Pediatric Dentist About Your Child’s Tooth Extraction
The pediatric dental team at Kids City Dental & Braces specializes in baby teeth extraction. Drs. Tory and Thu McFarlin are here to carefully examine your child’s mouth, diagnose the problem, and gently perform the tooth extraction your child needs.
Call (720) 797-9779 to learn more and schedule your appointment. As parents themselves, the Kids City Dental team always approach dentistry from the perspective of a parent, so you can trust them to treat your child with compassion and care!