When your child loses a baby tooth prematurely to bad cavities, it can cause problems in how well his or her big kid tooth erupts later on. It may be even more problematic when a loose baby tooth lying close by the empty tooth socket moves into it and gets stuck. As the adult tooth inside the empty socket begins to erupt to take the place of the tooth lost to decay, it triggers a host of problems for your child, including pain and infection. Your little one may refuse to clean his or her teeth because of the bad symptoms. But you can make your child feel more comfortable about his or her daily oral care until he or she sees a pediatric dentist for treatment. Here's what you need to know and do for your child.
Why Is It Hard to Care for a Stuck Baby Tooth?
Regular brushing and flossing might not be enough to stop tooth decay when an emerging adult tooth erupts from the jawbone and traps a loose baby tooth's roots against the gums. If the baby tooth lifts up on one side or tips over, plaque can form around the side that's still firmly placed in the gums. In some cases, the baby tooth stops wiggling back and forth because of the pressure applied to it.
The adult tooth may even erupt the wrong way and push other teeth out of placement. It's possible for the adult tooth to poke through the sides of the gums, which creates discomfort and inflammation in your child's mouth. If the problem gets worse, your child's dentist may need to manually remove the baby tooth and reposition the grownup tooth in the tooth socket.
Cleaning your little one's teeth won't be easy as well, especially if your child's toothbrush or floss irritates the area between the two teeth. Exposed nerves inside the baby tooth may still be attached to the nerves inside the gums. Your little one may complain of pain and refuse to brush his or her teeth if the bristles of his or her toothbrush touch the nerves. In addition, the thin thread of your child's floss may cut into the nerves as it passes between the baby tooth and adult tooth.
These issues may create another problem when bacteria infect the gums and cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. Although it's treatable by your little one's dentist, gingivitis may affect your child's ability to eat if his or her gums become sore and inflamed. Additionally, gum disease can create a foul scent in your child's mouth. To prevent any of these issues and the ones mentioned above, you need to do something fast.
How Do You Clean Your Child's Teeth?
You can keep your child's stuck baby tooth and erupting adult tooth free of cavities with a water flosser. A water flosser is a small dental machine that flushes out bacteria and plaque in the mouth. The machine comes with different types of flossers that force a small stream of water between your child's teeth and around the gumline. The water removes the plaque hidden between your child's loose baby tooth and adult tooth without cutting into the nerves or irritating the gums.
Because the water flosser comes with different speeds or settings, you can adjust the flow of water as needed. However, it's best to use the lowest setting for your child. It'll prevent discomfort as it cleans away the germs and plaque.
You should use the water flosser on your little one at least twice a day for the best results. In some cases, the flosser may even help the baby tooth break free of the adult tooth beneath it. Also, add warm water to the flossing machine's reservoir. Warm water may soothe away any inflammation in the gums around both teeth.
If you need additional advice on caring for your child's dental problem before his or her appointment, contact your pediatric dentist or a place like North Phoenix Pediatric Dentistry immediately.
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