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Dental Flipper for a Toddler?


Dental Flipper for a Toddler?

Posted by writeradmin

My toddler had a nasty fall and is now losing one of his front teeth. I feel it needs to be replaced for two reasons. First, I know that children can be very cruel. Second, I do not want his other teeth to drift into the empty space. I suggested that we get him a dental flipper, but my son’s dentist acted as if I’d completely lost my mind. In fact, he said I was being an idiot. Am I being unreasonable? What should I do about his missing tooth?


Dear Laurie,

Smiling boy with toothbrush

While I don’t agree with how your dentist handled this, a dental flipper is not a good idea for your son. Though, rather than insulting you, your dentist should have explained why it would not work, as well as address your concerns. My first suggestion to you is to find a different pediatric dentist.

A dental flipper won’t work for a toddler for a few reasons. The foremost is that because it is removable, it will be a choking hazard for him. A second issue with it being removable is that it is very unlikely he will keep it in and will end up losing it, probably more than once. I’m grimacing at the thought of where that flipper will take a trip and then end up straight in his mouth. Finally, his bite is still developing and you’ll end up having to purchase a new one every time his bite changes, which is OFTEN at his age.

Now for the good news. While children can be cruel, at your son’s age they are not really that into teeth. In fact, it is kind of a badge of honor for children to be the first to lose a tooth. Plus, what little boy doesn’t like bragging about his cool falling story? I mean, he lost a tooth! How awesome is that?!

Second, you are correct that some teeth need to be replaced so that the teeth that remain do not shift into the space. However, that is just with the back teeth. When one of those teeth are lost, a dentist will put in a space maintainer to help keep the spot open. This means you will not have to worry about the space being open for his front tooth.

I hope this helps put your mind at ease.
This blog is brought to you by Mount Dora Dentist Dr. Michelle Stillman.