August 22, 2010,
L.K. asks from Camarillo, CA on August 20, 2010
Two Year Old Losing All Four Top Front Teeth?
My daughter's lost the top side teeth to decay and now has to have the middle two removed due to an abscess resulting from her falling on her face. Should I get that retainer thing? The dentist says that the bridge is not necessary, and my friend Julie said her son lost the same teeth at 3 from a fall and was fine without a bridge but I'd like to hear from other moms... I'm concerned about how she will bite things or say "v", etc.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the help, ladies! I decided NOT to get a flipper. The dentist said it was purely cosmetic, and the little research I could find also indicated that it is purely cosmetic in the case of the front teeth at least. For back teeth, apparently, she would have needed a spacer. I actually think she looks just as cute this way, but in a different way, and none of the kids at her daycare have commented. She seems to eat and speak just fine. I will admit, I felt a bit more comfortable with her missing all those teeth missing when I watched Disney Playhouse with her that day and noticed that almost all of the kids her age in the interstitials and ads had at least one tooth missing. If even Disney kids, who are mostly models and "supposed" to look perfect have a few teeth missing and the dentist says there's no problem, then there's no problem with me!
V.S. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2010
Hello L K. In the dental profession, we call the retainer thing a "flipper". I am presuming you are referring to the same thing. It is entirely up to you whether or not you choose to get this for your daughter, however, the importance of it is to retain space needed for her permanent teeth to grow into. Having space between teeth allows the remaining teeth to eventually move over, in whatever direction there is a space, and can create problems later in life. Remember, her "permanent" teeth that will come in later in life are going to be much bigger than her "baby" teeth, so there needs to be adequate room for those to grow into, and not be pushed around. Sure, she could go without the flipper, and have her teeth shift, but later in life she'll probably need braces to correct the overlapping of the teeth. In most cases where braces are needed, tooth removal is also a part of the process to promote growth where the teeth can fit into the space/s they need to fit into. This is just something to think about :)
BTW.... my daughter also had to wear a flipper for a while. Her top two teeth had to be removed because she broke them in half vertically - one while biting a Lego, and one because she hit her face on the wall after bouncing on the bed. Two huge no-no's!! lol Her teeth are beautiful now, but then again, she wasn't predisposed to needing braces to begin with.
1 mom found this helpful
C.F. answers from Dallas on August 21, 2010
My daughter had pedi dentures (the retainer thing) when she was almost 4. She lost all 4 of her front teeth as well due to similar problems like you. We spent over $500 for the teeth only for her to hate having them in, and it didn't look natural. Don't get me wrong, they were beautiful teeth but almost had that young beauty pageant look to them and didn't sit in the same place of where her teeth would have been so it always looked like they were a little bit out of place instead of natural looking.
It's natural for kids to lose their teeth young and people don't question it because they don't know the real reason behind it. I was worried she'd be the only one in Kinder with no front teeth but to my surprise, she fit right in with her class who were mostly toothless. : )
We kept them in for the first month and then she couldn't take it anymore, once they were out, I think she felt like a normal kid again and adjusted just fine to eating w/out the fake teeth. In fact it was almost easier eating w/out the fake teeth since you can't really bite down hard on anything with the dentures or you risk pulling them out. I say let her adjust first to not having the teeth, give her at least a month to get used to the feeling and IF she's struggling, which I highly doubt she will, then go for the pedi dentures. But from my experience, I would suggest you save your money! : )
K.K. answers from Minneapolis on August 21, 2010
My son (who is 3) also lost all four front teeth due to an accident. It has been almost a year now and he talks normal. The dentist said that we may want a flipper when he is closer to 5 if his speach is affected.
But as of right now he isnt having any issues with his speach.
J.C. answers from Anchorage on August 21, 2010
Usually dental insurance will cover space savers for front teeth, because without them teeth may come in crowded and crooked. I would get her one. Also, it could be difficult for her to eat without those teeth.
R.J. answers from Seattle on August 21, 2010
My sister had a bike accident when she was 4, flipping over the handlebars and landing on her face (no helmet on THAT part of your head). Lost all 4 front teeth, and had "fangs" -aka just her canine teeth- until the 5th grade (the accident caused damage to her permanent teeth causing them to grow in late and at odd angles). She talked funny for a few months, and then spoke perfectly normal (no lisp or anything) for the next 6 years. Kids' brains acclimate quickly to changing circumstance.
We were all jealous because she could stick straws on her canine teeth and "be a vampire".
She didn't have a problem eating anything except corn and apples, but corn can be cut off the cob and apples cut into slices. Everything else was fine.
G.B. answers from Tulsa on August 22, 2010
I would go with what the pediatric dentist says. They are specialist where a regular dentist doesn't really have a clue. A pediatric dentist will be able to look at the xrays and see what the best solution is for you.