Dentures are removable dental appliances that serve as a replacement for missing teeth. They are usually worn over the gums and constructed to fit snugly against the roof of the mouth. There are complete dentures and partial dentures, but the type that children typically require are partial dentures.
Why Would My Child Need Dentures?
Although dentures are often associated with the elderly population, you may need these appliances at any age in your life. Oftentimes, older adults require dentures due to years of periodontal disease, where their teeth have deteriorated due to years of infection and inflammation, eventually leading to bone loss.
In children, dentures are often required due to sudden trauma to their front teeth or genetic conditions that they were born with. With trauma, minor issues can usually be resolved with a root canal or other reinforcing measures to save the tooth. Tooth extraction is always the last option, but in some cases, it may be the best course of action.
If a child loses their permanent teeth at a young age or is born with missing teeth, they are not eligible for a dental implant until they are at least 18 years old. The minimum age for a dental implant is 18 since the growth of your jaw usually does not complete until your early 20s. If an implant is performed before skeletal maturity is reached, the implant may interfere with bone development and cause further health complications.
How are Dentures Made?
Kid’s dentures are created by making a detailed impression of your child’s teeth and gums and taking measurements of your child’s jaw. Based on the impression, a mold is crafted, which the oral specialist can then use to construct a personalized denture. Dentures often need to be tested out several times before finding an accurate fit, shape, and color.
Since kids typically require a partial denture, the dental appliance is made as a removable structure. This structure is composed of the replacement tooth or teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Common types of removable partial dentures include:
- Cast metal partial dentures
- Acrylic flippers
- Flexible dentures
In some cases, you may use a dental adhesive to enhance the stability and bite force of the denture. Dental adhesives come as a paste application or powder application. Remind your child to start with a small amount of adhesive, as too much can be uncomfortable. With powder adhesives, children should shake off any excess product before placing the denture into their mouth.
How to Care for Kid’s Dentures
For your child to maintain good oral health, make sure that they are taking adequate care of their dentures. Remind them to consistently:
- Remove and rinse dentures after eating
- Handle dentures carefully
- Brush teeth after removal of dentures
- Avoid exposure to hot liquids
- Visit the dentist twice a year
- Store dentures in water when not in use
- Clean appliance with a denture cleaner
If your child has any missing teeth or has recently experienced trauma to their mouth or jaw, contact ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles today to see if they may be a candidate for a removable, partial denture.