I have a twelve-year-old who still has quite a few baby teeth. Some of the adult teeth are coming in but the baby teeth still aren’t loose. I’m not sure what to do. I know we’re not supposed to be going to the dentist right now. Should I just wait this out?
The first thing I would do is try to wiggle the baby teeth and see if you can get it loose on your own. If the baby teeth aren’t budging, then you will need to have them extracted. If they aren’t extracted, then the baby teeth will deflect the adult teeth. This will lead to them coming in crooked, requiring her to have orthodontics.
I would call your pediatric dentist and schedule an appointment. I know we’re under quarantine right now because of COVID-19. However, the CDC has left provision for essential care. They haven’t listed specific procedures that are considered essential. The one thing they said with certainty is to skip routine procedures.
I think they’re leaving what is essential as vague intentionally. As medical professionals themselves, they understand that the doctor or dentist will understand the patient best and know what is routine and what isn’t.
If your child’s teeth are being deflected, that means it is not a routine procedure and it is acceptable for you to call the dentist and schedule extractions. The good news is these are easier than extracting adult teeth because of the differences in the roots.
If Your Child is Prone to Dental Anxiety
Some children face anxiety at the dentist when dealing with unfamiliar procedures. If your sweetie is one of them, may I suggest you ask your dentist to use nitrous oxide. This is a gas they’ll breathe in with a nose piece that will give them a relaxed, floaty feeling. It puts most young people at ease.
Some students have much more severe anxiety. If that is your child, then you could consider using oral conscious sedation. This is a pill they’ll take about a half-hour before their appointment. This is significantly stronger and they’ll be a bit woozy for a few hours after the appointment and will need you to stay with them.
You know your child best and whether they’ll need any form of dental sedation or not.
This blog is brought to you by Pediatric Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.