When your child’s primary teeth come through, you expect them to last until their permanent teeth grow in. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In certain circumstances, we will advise that children have a tooth removed.
We always aim to restore teeth before pulling them. However, in some cases pulling baby teeth is the healthiest option for a child’s teeth.
Some reasons for baby tooth extractions include:
All children are at risk for tooth decay because of the bacteria that lives in their mouth. Lower your child’s risk with thorough and consistent oral hygiene habits and a diet low in sugar.
Impacted teeth are those that have not broken the surface of the gums, and cannot erupt. This happens for a few reasons. There may not be enough room for the tooth to come in, or they may be trying to come in from the wrong position.
Accidents, like falls, may damage healthy baby teeth. If a tooth cannot be fixed with restorative dental treatment, we may recommend pulling the tooth for their overall oral health.
In some instances, baby teeth may not fall out in a timely manner. This can create crowding amongst permanent teeth or permanent teeth may be trapped in the gums. Extracting these primary teeth can help the adult teeth come in.
Sometimes, removing a tooth can reduce overcrowding in the mouth. This extra room can help the orthodontist straighten neighbouring teeth.
Please ask us as many questions as you need. We want you to be fully informed about why we’re pulling the tooth and how it contributes to your child’s long-term oral health.
The process for pulling a baby tooth is a straightforward procedure, much more so than extracting a permanent tooth. Our team of paediatric dentists complete this procedure in four steps.
Our objective is to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for our young patients. For the vast majority of baby tooth extractions, we use local anaesthesia. We inject it into the child’s mouth to numb the area around the tooth and eliminate pain. Children under local anaesthesia remain conscious throughout the tooth extraction procedure.
The effects of local anaesthesia last approximately 2–3 hours after the extraction. Your child must be careful that they don’t bite their tongue or inside their cheek accidentally when they still feel numb.
For child patients with a difficult procedure or intense fear or anxiety, we may recommend general anaesthetic when we remove their teeth. This makes them unconscious throughout the tooth extraction.
Following a tooth extraction, your child may feel anxious. Follow these directions to make the recovery phase more comfortable for your little one.
Following the extraction, we place a pressure pack of gauze in your child’s mouth. This stops any postoperative bleeding. We have them bite down on this pack for five minutes.
Once we remove the pack, some blood from the extraction site may remain in the mouth. This is normal. If there is continuous bleeding from the extraction site, we place a new pressure pack. Your child will need to bite down for another five minutes. The pressure will stop any further bleeding.
There must be no rinsing for six hours post-extraction. Rinsing will remove the blood clot in the extraction socket and promote bleeding. Eating and drinking is allowed as long as care is taken not to bite the soft tissues. Hot food and drink should be avoided, as this may burn the anaesthetised soft tissue in the mouth.
Six hours after the extraction procedure you are allowed to rinse. We recommend rinsing with warm salty water three times per day for three days.
Instructions for rinsing:
Bring the kettle to the boil, and let it cool down until it’s warm. Add one tablespoon of salt to half a mug of warm water. Rinsing with the previously boiled water and salt prevents infection and promotes healing of the extraction site.
The extraction socket takes up to two weeks to heal. During this time, care must be taken to keep the extraction area clean with regular brushing.
Should there be any pain, medication may help in a child’s recovery following tooth removal. Paracetamol (Calpol) or Nurofen can be given to your child per the recommendations on the packet.
Weymouth Paediatric’s treatments can be carried out under local anaesthesia at the dentist, or general anaesthesia in a private hospital setting.
Our team at Weymouth Street Paediatric Dentistry is here and ready to help children requiring dental treatments. Get in touch with us for any oral health concerns you have for your child, and we’ll schedule them for an exam.
33 Weymouth Street, London, W1G 7BY