A baby tooth usually falls out because there is a permanent tooth erupting underneath it. When this occurs naturally, the space vacated by the baby tooth is filled quickly by the adult tooth replacing it. If for some reason the baby tooth comes out early (accident, decay, etc.), then it is important that the space left by that tooth be maintained for the adult tooth. Otherwise, the teeth on each side of the opening may collapse into that space, and it may require orthodontic treatment to correct.

When a child loses a baby tooth early, we use special appliances called space maintainers made of metal or plastic to hold that space open. Children usually adjust very quickly to the space maintainers, and it requires only a little extra care by you and your child to keep clean.

Recent & Related

White Spots

White Spots

Sometimes teeth have discolorations that are not darker, but actually whiter than the rest of the tooth. Small white spots called fluorosis often develop on children’s baby and adult teeth. Fluoride is found in most city water as well as in many dental...

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Enamel Appearance

Enamel Appearance

You may wonder about the color of your baby’s teeth. Enamel is the outer layer of our teeth. It is the hardest part of the tooth, and also the layer that provides most of the color of the tooth. Your baby’s teeth do not have to be perfectly bright white in order to be...

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Teething

Teething

Teething is the process of primary (baby) teeth pushing through the gums into a child’s mouth. It is a natural event that every baby goes through, and it may be painful for your baby. The average age for the first set of teeth to arrive is around six months, but...

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