My child has lost a tooth, can it be replaced?

Dental implants are a great replacement for missing teeth, but they are in the case of adults. What about children? They have so many accidents during their sport activity, playtime or even at home that they are more likely to lose one of their teeth. Losing a milk tooth is not a tragedy for a little child who does not really worry about his or her look (yet), but what about older children and teenagers?

Losing a tooth can be a disaster for a person in the critical age of natural lower self-esteem and search for the individual’s identity. What is more, going to school full of “judges” ready to have fun of your smallest imperfections does not make it any easier. Baby teeth are going to be replaced naturally by the permanent teeth , but the permanent teeth have no natural replacement.  So how can you help your child?

Not for everyone

The general rule says that to receive a dental implant you must be older than 15, because of the jaw bone which is still developing. Boys should be even older than girls – close to 17. It may not be very good news, but we must think prospectively.

If the implant would be placed in the bone too soon, the jaw development  could be disturbed and the permanent teeth could grow incorrectly. Dental implants are a great solution, yet if the bone is not ready for this kind of interference, it will not help effectively. It will just not be able to provide the right support for the new tooth.

Contact your dentist who will assess the individual situation and will get to know whether your child can be accepted as a candidate for an implant or you must wait.

What else can be done?

Luckily, although your child cannot receive a dental implant yet, he or she still can have a perfect smile while waiting for it. Partial dentures can become some kind of a filler which will help your child wait for the right time to get the permanent implant. This denture must be worn until the jaw is finally fully developed and ready for the implant. Maybe some teenagers won’t be too enthusiastic about such an option, but it still is better than having a hole in your smile.

Yet another solution is an artificial tooth which is fixed to the braces. If your child needs the orthodontic treatment, you can have two jobs done at the same time. This is a more stable option and lasts as long as it is needed before the dental implant can be inserted.

Remember that the denture is not only a matter of good appearance. A missing tooth can disturb your child’s mouth development and influence negatively his or her relationships with schoolmates. Low self- esteem can cause many different problems from problematic behaviors to truancy and worse school performance. To get more information contact your dentist who will help you find the best solution for your child.

Teeth cleaning practice for your child

Good habits learnt in our childhood have the tendency to survive. Our children are more likely to take a good care of their teeth if we show them how important it is. Start teaching your children to clean their teeth right as soon as possible.

When is a good time to start?

It is the infancy period. It means cleaning baby’s mouth after feeding. Use a wet gauze or cloth to wipe the oral area. No teeth visible does not mean that it is senseless. When the first tooth arrives buy a brush and start brushing it regularly.

Tips for early brushing:

  • The brush should be suitable for your child’s age and soft-bristled (a hard-bristled one is too abrasive in this case). Wet it before use. Using fluoride toothpaste before first birthday must be consulted with a dentist or pediatrician.
  • Fluoride toothpaste should be used in cases of higher decay risk. Before the age of 2 its amount should be less than this of the size of a pea and at the age of 2-5 it can be the size of a pea.
  • Brush your child’s teeth in a bathroom. It would be great if you brushed your teeth at the same time – children like to copy their parents.
  • Try to make the habit of brushing teeth at least twice a day (in the morning and evening).
  • Children at the age of 6 and older can brush teeth on their own, but under a parent’s supervision.
  • Replace the toothbrush every three- four months and always when you see it is damaged. You should buy a new one also after a cold or flu – it will help avoid the next infection.
  • You can use also an electric toothbrush.
  • Children before 2 should start the practice of spitting. Older children can rinse their mouth with a small amount of water.

Right brushing procedure

  1. Angle a toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gums.
  2. Move the brush back-and-forth with short strokes. Take care of both interior and exterior surface.
  3. To get to the behind of the front upper and lower teeth the brush’s tip should be in the upright position.
  4. Brush the tongue.


As soon as tooth surfaces are next to each other we need to start flossing our child’s teeth once a day or more. It helps remove the plaque and remaining food which causes halitosis, decay and gum diseases.

Tips for flossing:

  • You need a short length of the floss. Hold it between a thumb and index finger and clean the surfaces between teeth delicately.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape to encircle each tooth and slide the floss up and down.
  • Use new floss to clean each tooth.
  • If there is some space between teeth you may use an interdental brush.

Regular dentist checkups

Six months after the first tooth’s appearance or soon after the first birthday, your child should visit a dentist for the first time.

Remember about giving a good example and providing assistance for your children. Good condition of our teeth is very important for our general wellness, it is not only a matter of a beautiful smile. Your efforts now will pay off in the future.