Losing the first baby tooth is an exciting milestone, and it is often accompanied by the thought, “Is my child going to need braces?” It may be too soon to tell whether your child will have crooked teeth or a bad bite – they still have so much growing to do – but when and how your child loses their baby teeth, and how their adult teeth erupt, can say a lot about what’s to come for their orthodontic future.
The Eruption of Adult Teeth
Kids typically lose their baby that in the same order that they got them, starting around age 5. By age 13, many kids have 28 permanent teeth:
- 4 central incisors (the front teeth, two on the top and bottom)
- 4 lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of the front teeth, 2 on the top and bottom)
- 4 canines (the teeth on either side of the incisors, 2 on the top and bottom)
- 8 premolars (4 each on the top and bottom)
- 8 molars (4 each on the top and bottom)
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually show up between age 17 and 21. These teeth can be worrisome if a teen does not have room in their mouth for the wisdom teeth. Unless the wisdom teeth are removed, any work that youth braces did can put a newly straightened smile in jeopardy.
Premature Loss of Baby Teeth
If baby teeth are knocked out by a fall or accident before the teeth were even loose, many parents panic – understandably. You don’t want your child to be self-conscious about missing teeth, and you don’t want every photo to show your child with a hole in their smile.
There is a bigger issue at stake though – baby teeth are placeholders for adult teeth. Without the baby teeth doing their job, this “premature loss” can impact the eruption of the teeth, affect the alignment of adult teeth, and influence the need for greater orthodontic intervention.
The Benefit of Interceptive Youth Braces
There is a lot going on with a child’s mouth, what with baby teeth falling out and adult teeth coming in at the same time. By age 8, you should have your child evaluated by a Center City orthodontist to see what’s going on with their oral health.
For many kids, the early form of youth braces – interceptive braces – is appropriate treatment. Even though baby teeth are still falling out, this doesn’t prevent your child from getting appliances like expanders, a tongue crib, or a space maintainer to help guide their dental development. Your child can start their orthodontic treatment early, and potentially avoid more in-depth treatment later.
Even if your child’s teeth seem to be coming in straight and fine, even if your family has a great history of straight, perfect teeth, your child could still need youth braces. Only your orthodontist can tell you for sure. Make an appointment with orthodontists Dr. Roberts and Dr. de Marsche in Center City to schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation and get on the road to straight, healthy teeth.