Losing baby teeth is one of childhood’s most quintessential milestones, and it’s always exciting when a tooth starts to come loose for the first time. But while it’s normal for children to lose baby teeth, many parents wonder: can a child lose a baby tooth too soon? At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, our mission is to help kids throughout Statesboro and Savannah achieve healthy, beautiful smiles, so we’d like to shed some light on what’s normal and what’s not for losing baby teeth.
Did My Child Lose Their Baby Tooth Too Soon?
First, we should say that the answer is a definitive yes: it is possible for a child to lose a baby tooth too soon, and this can cause serious orthodontic problems to develop if left untreated. Usually, a child loses their first baby tooth around age 6 and finishes around age 12. While there’s plenty of variation in this schedule, if your child loses their first tooth before age 3 or 4, it’s a cause for concern.
So why is early primary tooth loss a problem? The answer has to do with the adult teeth. Normally, the baby teeth act as guides to help the permanent teeth erupt in a healthy alignment. But if your child loses a baby tooth before the permanent tooth underneath is ready to erupt, it can cause the adjacent teeth to drift into the space left behind. This can disrupt not only the eruption of the permanent tooth in the middle but also the nearby teeth, leading to serious alignment problems. Without treatment, this can necessitate extensive orthodontic treatment.
Accordingly, you should always schedule an appointment with us if your child loses a baby tooth before age 4. We can treat the problem using a space maintainer to keep the empty space open for the permanent tooth underneath, and it will also allow us to monitor your child’s dental development to ensure everything progresses normally.
Contact Your Savannah & Statesboro Pediatric Dentist
We hope you find this information helpful, and if your child loses a baby tooth prematurely or you have any other questions about your child’s dental health, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the role of the primary teeth in your child’s dental development or to schedule a check-up at our local Savannah or Statesboro offices. We can’t wait to hear from you!