The eruption of milk teeth in children usually starts at six months, although the precise age varies differently. When a child turns six years old, they will start losing these milk teeth for permanent teeth to grow. There are also times when a child might lose their milk teeth before turning six. This premature loss of milk teeth is generally associated with dental caries, trauma, and periodontal diseases.

Many parents believe that they see no need to visit a kids dentist in Salt Lake City since their child is bound to lose their milk teeth at some point anyway. It is, however, essential to get dental intervention if your child loses their milk teeth before the ideal age. Here are some of its effects if left alone:

Loss of the Dental Arch’s Length

The jawbone requires continuous stimulation by the teeth to enhance its strength and constant growth in children. With premature tooth loss, deterioration of the jawbone in the area of loss starts. Over time, the jawbone completely shrinks at the site and contributes to a reduction of your child’s overall dental arch’s length. Consequently, other teeth will compete for the reduced dental arch space for their growth and this causes overcrowding.

Shifting Of Teeth

The teeth on each end of the space left by the prematurely lost tooth will naturally move to fill the gap. This will result in the development of misaligned milk and permanent teeth. This misalignment not only has a negative impact on your child’s smile, but will also make cleaning of your child’s teeth considerably difficult. Moreover, the teeth which have shifted might fill the space and block the eruption of a permanent tooth.

boy showing milk teeth

Development of Uncharacteristic Muscle Activity

Premature tooth loss results in a newly created space in the child’s dental arch. This causes children to develop various abnormal muscle activities to fill the space, more so if the lost tooth is in the front arch. Tongue thrusting and thumb sucking are the two common muscle activities most kids develop. These habits both contribute to the deterioration of your child’s bite as more teeth are shifted into abnormal positions.

Poor Feeding and Speech Defects

With a disruption in their bite, the nutrition of your child is affected since there are various food types that might be impossible to chew or bite. This, in turn, will affect their overall health. The loss of milk teeth prematurely also affects speech. This is more pronounced if your child loses their teeth at two or three years since this is the typical age of speech development.

With prompt dental intervention, you can save your child from all the above issues, which will require a range of treatments that will be costly. The standard solution for premature loss of milk teeth is a customized space maintainer. This is placed into the gap left on your child’s jawbone to hold the space for the expected eruption of permanent teeth. The maintainer will be removed when permanent tooth eruption starts.