No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Information About Child Braces And Dental Extraction

by Jeremiah Barnett

If you have a child who has crooked teeth and needs braces, then an orthodontist may suggest the removal of two or more teeth. This kind of extraction is sometimes necessary to create room in the mouth to move the important teeth around. As a parent though, you may have some questions about the extraction. Keep reading to learn about some answers to some common extraction questions.

Are Tooth Extractions Necessary?

In some cases tooth extractions are necessary. For example, if your child has all of their adult teeth, including the wisdom teeth, then the orthodontist can make a fairly distinct determination about whether an extraction is necessary. And, in some cases, only the wisdom teeth will be removed. In other cases, the orthodontist will remove the wisdom teeth first to see if there is enough room after some dental shifts. If not, then the first premolars may be looked at as well. 

If your child is going through some of the preliminary orthodontic work at age 9 to 11, then all of the adult teeth may not be present. At this time, the jaw also may be narrow and it will expand and widen over time. It may be wise to wait and see if this is the case before extraction occurs.

Sometimes, the jaw itself can be widened to create more room for the teeth. A palatal expander may be used for this purpose or your child may be asked to wear headgear in the evening. Surgical expansion is an option as well, but this is often only completed in cases where the jaw is abnormally narrow and in need of correction. 

How Can You Prepare Your Child For Extraction?

If extraction is necessary for successful tooth straightening, then you should prepare your son or daughter for the procedure. It can be a bit scary and painful. Ensure your child that local and sometimes general anesthetics will be used to reduce this discomfort. And, if your child is quite apprehensive, then you do have the option of choosing conscious sedation. 

Since your child will only be able to eat soft foods after the extraction, prepare early and purchase your son or daughter's favorite food items. Pudding, ice cream, and mashed potatoes are a few favorites to consider. And, you want to speak with the dental professional about the antibiotics and pain relievers that will be provided so they can be gathered early.

Make sure that you are available during the procedure and waiting in the waiting room so you can be contacted as soon as the procedure is over. For more information about braces for kids, talk to a children's orthodontist in your area.