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Premature childhood tooth loss 'could lead to poor dental health'
Updated: 5/23/2008 2:00:21 PM
 

Losing a tooth due to a trauma, such as an accident, could permanently affect a child's oral health if their parents or guardians do not take the appropriate steps to deal with the problem, a new study has found.

In research published in General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) notes that children can lose their primary, or baby, teeth prematurely, which many parents often do not believe is a problem as it is supposed to be replaced with an adult tooth.

However, the organization claims that is not the case, as primary teeth are needed to maintain adequate spacing for permanent teeth - if they fall out too early, it may compromise the straightness of adult teeth.

When a child loses a permanent tooth due to trauma, the report's authors found that parents and guardians will often delay seeking treatment, or will fail to store the knocked-out tooth properly on route to the hospital.

Dr Mark Donald, a spokesperson for the AGD, said: "The chance for success is directly related to the amount of trauma and the length of time the tooth is outside of the oral cavity. The tooth should be placed in a moist solution like milk."

The Chicago Dental Society recently offered a number of tips for parents trying to persuade their child to visit the dentist, such as bringing toys and books for the waiting room.
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