Do missing teeth (edentulism) affect children differently than adults?

Generally, missing teeth can cause problems. Specifically, baby teeth hold the space for the adult teeth to come in correctly. When a baby tooth is missing, the remaining teeth will move into that space making it difficult for the adult tooth to come in properly. For this reason it is so important to take good care of the primary (baby) teeth with a proper diet, brushing, and a regular visit to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
Edentulism, which means tooth loss, can affect people at any age. It's caused by decay, which is why it's so important to instill good brushing and flossing habits in your children while they're still young.
Edentulism is mostly found in adults, particularly the elderly. This is thought to occur because of their greater risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease. Rarely, tooth decay can affect younger children because of improper oral hygiene. This is commonly seen in children who drink sugary bottles while in the crib, where the sugar can soak into their teeth while they sleep. Edentulism in children however is soon cured when their adult teeth grow in.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.