How Old

How Old Do You Need to Be for Dental Implants?

There is no real age restriction connected to dental implants, although dental implants cannot be used in young children. Many parents are looking for a permanent tooth replacement option for their child after they have lost a tooth because of an accident. However, dental implants cannot be used until later on in life. To discover the reasons for the minimum age for dental implants, and for some tooth loss prevention tips for children, please read our information below.

Why Are Dental Implants Unsuitable for Children?

A dental implant can only be successfully implemented once the jawbone has finished growing. Given the fact that the jawbone of a child is still in the growing stage, it can affect the growth of the jawbone and affect the position of the other teeth.

Natural teeth possess a periodontal ligament, which is a part that enables the natural teeth to move. A dental implant is placed directly in the jawbone and does not have this periodontal ligament, hence why it can affect your child’s teeth and jawbone negatively if it is used.

dental implants

When Can I Get Dental Implants for My Child?

The minimum age for dental implants is different for girls and boys. Internationally speaking, the minimum age for boys is 17 years old and the minimum age for girls 14. Even though getting dental implants at this age should not impede the development of the jawbone and the positioning of the teeth, the minimum age for dental implant procedures may vary from patient to patient.

Every person is unique and the same uniqueness applies to our teeth and our jawbone. Some children develop faster than others, so the child will have to undergo thorough evaluation before they can benefit from a dental implant treatment.

Not all clinics will perform a dental implant procedure for patients under eighteen either, so you may have to be willing to wait a couple of years to ensure that the dental implant procedure can be executed safely.

Can I Prevent Permanent Tooth Loss?

Children love to run around and play, so accidents are impossible to prevent. However, even though you cannot prevent the accident itself, you can prevent the tooth being lost forever and prevent your child from getting permanent damage to their teeth.

When the tooth of your child has been knocked out, find the tooth as quickly as possible. While you are looking for the tooth, make sure you reassure your child and remain calm. Stress reactions may cause your child to experience more discomfort and cause a fear of the dentist in the future.

Once you have found the tooth, do not pick it up by the root. Touching the root of the tooth will cause permanent damage and reduce the chances of the dentist being able to insert the tooth again. Instead, pick the tooth up by the crown. The crown of the tooth is the part that is visible to the naked eye and sticks out of the gum.

Contrary to tooth loss in adults, do not attempt to reinsert the tooth in the gum. If you attempt to reinsert a baby tooth into the gum, you may damage the adult tooth underneath. Instead, rinse the tooth with a little bit of milk and then place it in a container. Make sure the container contains some milk as well, this will keep the tooth in good condition so the dentist can insert it.

When a tooth gets knocked out, time will be of the essence. Call your dentist as soon as possible and ask for an emergency appointment. Make sure you explain the situation at hand and that you have stored the tooth in a suitable container.

Upon arrival at the dentist office, you should be able to see the dentist right away. First of all, the dentist will take an x-ray to determine the correct position of the tooth. If an adult tooth has fallen out, the dentist will use a splint to keep the tooth in place for two weeks. During that time, the tooth will be able to get settled again and your child will not have any permanent damage to the teeth.

teeth protection

Can I Protect My Child’s Teeth During Sports?

Children who engage in contact sports should wear the right protection. Even though contact sports are less rough for children, accidents do tend to occur. If your child is doing a contact sport such as mixed martial arts, ensure they have a good mouthguard to protect their teeth.

Some sports clubs might provide mouthguards to their members. However, it is important to realise that these mouthguards were not made especially for your child. Ill-fitting mouthguards can do more harm than good, so it may be a good idea to take your child to the dentist and obtain a custom-made mouthguard. Custom-made mouthguards can provide additional protection for other parts of the body as well. In addition to protecting your teeth, the custom-made mouthguard will also protect the jaw, the neck and the brain.

For children, it is important to remember that a mouthguard may need adjusting over time. A child is still growing and when teeth come through, they may change position. Because of this, the mouthguard may become too loose or too tight. Regular check-ups and fittings with the dentist will therefore be essential. Adults do not have to replace their mouthguard that often, but they do need to check their mouthguard for signs of wear and tear.

Last but not least, it is also important to maintain the mouthguard of your child properly. If the mouthguard has not been maintained properly, your child may be exposed to harmful bacteria and moulds. When the mouthguard has been used, brush the mouthguard with a fluoride toothpaste. Once you are done, add the mouthguard to a dedicated case. The case of your child’s mouthguard will have to be cleaned regularly as well, given the fact that the case can also expose the mouthguard to bacteria and dirt.



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