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Dental Flipper for a 3 year old

Posted by writeradmin

My toddler fell and lost his two front teeth as a result. I didn’t want him going without those teeth and getting made fun of by other kids, plus he needs them. I suggested a dental flipper and my pediatric dentist was rather rude. He said (and this is a direct quote), “That is the dumbest idea I have ever heard and you should leave the dentistry to me.” I was embarrassed, angry, and worried that my son wasn’t getting the best care. I looked online and it looks like they only sell these for adults. Do you know where I can get these in toddler sizes?


Dear Patricia,

Smiling little boy with toothbrush

I can tell that you are a loving and caring mother and am so sorry that your son’s dentist was so rude. Though he certainly handled this poorly, he is correct that a dental flipper is not the right solution for your son. A wiser dentist would have handled this much differently. I am going to suggest you start looking for a different pediatric dentist for your son. One who listens to your concerns and gives you the pros and cons of all your options. While every patient deserves this courtesy, when you are dealing with someone’s child you need to be even more sensitive.

Why Won’t a Dental Flipper Work?

There are several reasons why a dental flipper is not a good idea for a toddler. One of them is the fact that it is removable. Not only would that make it a choking hazard, but it is unlikely that he would be willing to keep it in at all times at his age. Even more likely that he will lose it.

Because of his age, his jaw is still growing. This means that you will need to purchase a new one each time there is growth, which will be often.

The Good News

When children lose front teeth prematurely, you don’t need to replace them. Premature tooth loss in children is only an issue if you are dealing with a back tooth. Then, he would need a space maintainer in order to keep the spot open for his twelve year old molars. Front teeth are safe to leave open.

It’s great that you don’t want him to have unnecessary pain from teasing. It would be a miracle if he goes his whole life without experiencing some of that, however, I don’t think it will be an issue in this case. Young children are losing and growing teeth all the time. If anything it is more likely to be a badge of honor for losing them faster than most, if they notice it at all.

This blog is brought to you by Arnold, MD Dentist Dr. Meredith Esposito.