Are Baby Teeth Overstaying Their Welcome?
Between the years of five and twelve, children periodically get excited — and perhaps a little anxious — over their baby teeth becoming loose and falling out. This is a natural process, allowing permanent teeth to come in. Yet, a person might grow through adolescence and into adulthood, but one or more of their primary teeth don’t leave. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can be a little disconcerting. The Placerville Dental Group is prepared to help you with this situation.
What’s the Problem With Stuck Baby Teeth?
Rest assured that if one or more baby teeth stick around, it’s not any indication of some inherent stubborn streak — in you or your teeth. We live in a world where our bodies don’t necessarily grow as designed. You might have a rare condition called hypodontia, where the baby teeth stay in place because the permanent teeth behind it simply didn’t develop. Since there’s no permanent tooth to replace the baby one, it does not get pushed out of its socket.
Another possible reason your baby teeth stick around is due to misalignment. You might have your permanent tooth, but it only pushes the baby tooth off to the side, not up and out. The permanent tooth also sometimes erupts from the gums in front of or behind the baby tooth. Situations like these often bring discomfort, and typically result in a person being self-conscious about their smile. On other occasions, the permanent tooth is there, but it just never pushed its way out of the jawbone.
At the Placerville Dental Group, we want you to be proud of your smile! When you come in for routine checkups, your dentist monitors the situation via x-rays and develops a treatment plan with you. It might involve removing the baby tooth manually. Orthodontics are then a great way to help bring the permanent tooth into proper position, not to mention bring your best smile to light.
Living With or Without Baby Teeth
If you are among the very few to have baby teeth into your adulthood, it’s important to remember that they are not as resilient as permanent teeth. (Of course, primary teeth are preferred over a hole in your smile.) A proper routine in oral hygiene is vital — including brushing twice a day, supplemented with flossing, and mouthwash as necessary, and semi-annual checkups with the Placerville Dental Group.
It’s also possible that your baby teeth simply do not have the roots to keep them anchored to your adult jaw and might come out, with no permanent teeth to replace them. If that happens, talk to your dentist. Filling the hole that your baby tooth left with a bridge or a permanent implant might be just what you need to fill the gap and create an even better smile!
If you still have baby teeth, regardless of age, the best thing you can do is talk to your dentist at the Placerville Dental Group. Let us work with you to keep tabs on the issue! We’ll help your oral health stick around longer than any baby teeth.