My two-year-old daughter fell and lost a tooth. I went to see our dentist to get her a dental flipper and he told me I was nuts. Toddlers don’t get flippers. I’m worried her teeth will shift. What do I do? Will another pediatric dentist make one?
I understand why you’re concerned, but I want to put your mind at ease. A child’s first teeth won’t cause the shifting that you’re worried about. It’s the back molars that cause the shifting problems. If one of those ever had to be permanently removed, a space maintainer can be placed there to keep everything in its proper location.
I’m sorry your dentist was rude to you. In fact, he’d have been much more useful if he would have explained the reasoning behind his words. I wonder if you’d be better served with a different dentist.
A dental flipper won’t work for a toddler. For one, its removable nature makes it a choking hazard. Plus, her jaw is developing rapidly so it will never stay attached.
What to Look for in a Pediatric Dentist
As I mentioned earlier, you probably should go to a different dentist for your daughter. If he’s that impatient with you, imagine the experience a toddler would have when he gets frustrated with her. You want her experiences with the dentist to be positive.
If you like going to the same clinic together, there are general dentists who love working with children. You could look for one of those. Just make sure the first time they want to see children is when they’re young. If they say not to come until they’re eight or nine years old, that is an indication they don’t really enjoy working with children.
You also want someone who will be patient and explain every aspect of treatment with you along with all alternatives.
It sounds like you’re a very conscientious mom when it comes to her oral care. One of the problems we often run into with pediatric patients is parents don’t bring them in for checkups when they’re young, thinking they won’t need the care. Unfortunately, that usually means the first time they have an appointment is when they have a dental emergency. This makes their first experience with the dentist a negative and sometimes painful one. That’s what they’ll associate with the dentist the rest of their lives.
I don’t think you’ll make that same mistake because you’re already thinking about things and seem very proactive.
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