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Why Are Baby Teeth Important?
Posted on 09/30/2016
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Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Do you ever wonder why it is important to take care of your child’s baby teeth? You may be thinking that these teeth will just eventually fall out.  Although baby teeth don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s baby teeth play an important role in their development.

Here are a few reasons why baby teeth are so important:

  • Baby teeth help with healthy eating and growth via proper chewing
  • The presence of baby teeth aids speech development  – they can help children speak more clearly
  • Baby teeth save space in the jaw for the permanent teeth
  • They set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles

Just like permanent teeth, your child’s baby or primary teeth require professional and at-home dental care.  Tooth decay can begin as soon as your child’s teeth come in.  This means, proper oral hygiene is important as soon as your baby is born.  Decay in baby teeth can cause pain, and if decay is not treated, it can destroy your child’s teeth.  An abscess from an untreated cavity or broken down tooth can also cause a more serious systemic infection.   If a tooth becomes infected and needs to be extracted, your child will likely need a space maintainer.  If a baby tooth is lost too early and the space is not preserved, the adjacent teeth will encroach on that space, which can result in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth.  This can cause more orthodontic problems for the future.  Dentists take necessary precautions to investigate your child’s tooth eruption pattern in order to help you make an educated decision on their dental care.  Dental pain or infection from a cavity can also cause a lack of focus at school or missed school days.  Children with tooth pain may have trouble eating and can therefore impact their growth and development. 

Teaching children good dental care early is a great way to set healthy habits for life! Check out Affiliated Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics if you’re looking for more insight on all things teeth related!