My three year old daughter lost her two front teeth after she experienced a nasty fall on our front sidewalk. We recently moved to a new community and were testing the waters with a new dentist. When we visited with him about her losing her front teeth, I asked about flippers, or some form of cosmetic teeth. The dentist rudely informed me that she was too young for a flipper and and will not cooperate for that sort of procedure. Do you agree? I assume a procedure like this wouldn’t be covered by our medical coverage, and the kits which can be purchased online are all made for adults. I am just concerned about future repercussions of this and taking any more time than we already have to address the issue. Thank you for your input!
How awful that your young daughter experienced such a fall! It is also unfortunate that the dentist you visited gave you such a response. Nonetheless, he is correct. It would be nearly impossible for a child the age of your daughter to understand the importance of complying with a procedure for a flipper. In addition, there are other issues to consider for a child of this age.
Issues With Young Child Receiving a Flipper
Safety is a major concern. Just as it is hazardous to allow young children to play with small toys, or toys with small parts that have the potential to come loose and cause them to choke, something like a flipper has the potential to also come loose and is also a choking hazard.
Functionality is also a consideration. Metal clips or plastic parts clip or press against the other teeth in order to hold a flipper in place. Because a child’s mouth and teeth are constantly developing and changing at this age, it would be impossible for an appliance such as this to stay in place for any lengthy period of time.
Positive Points to Consider with Premature Loss of Front Teeth
Fortunately, there are some positive points to consider in this situation. To start with, your daughter’s baby teeth won’t move because of missing front teeth. When baby teeth change position, it is a result of missing back teeth lost too early. When this is the case, a space maintainer is often a necessity. A second consideration is that, at this age, children are not self-conscious about missing teeth. Children of all ages are missing teeth, either because they haven’t grown in yet, or because they have lost their baby teeth and their permanents have yet to grow in. Therefore, it is quite common to see a child without all of his or her teeth.
Overall, this is not an issue to worry about.
This post was brought to you by Phoenix pediatric dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.