Primary teeth, also known as “baby teeth,” are the first to emerge. They are a more temporary set of teeth that eventually become loose and fall out on a predicted timeline. These teeth are replaced with permanent teeth, which are the set of pearly whites you’ll have for the rest of your life with proper care.
If baby teeth are going to fall out anyways, is it really that important to keep them healthy? This is a common question, and one that is answered with a resounding YES! Baby teem do matter. In fact, they serve several different purposes that affect your child’s oral health and well-being.
Baby teeth need to remain healthy because they play important roles such as:
- Helping your child chew food easily and correctly
- Allowing your child to develop proper speech
- Holding space in the jaws for the permanent teeth to erupt in better position
When the health of baby teeth are neglected, it can also pose a threat to their oral health, body health and future teeth. Untreated infection and decay can spread to the gum tissues, underlying bone and even compromise the adult teeth that have yet to come in.
Gum disease can progress enough to enter the bloodstream and cause systemic complications throughout the body. Attention to cleaning and caring for the baby teeth can help parents avoid such serious consequences within their child.
Furthermore, untreated cavities lead to tooth pain, and it’s one of the leading causes of missed school days in the United States. At this point, poor care of baby teeth can impact the child’s education.
Finally, if a tooth is so damaged that it falls out earlier than planned, it can cause the permanent tooth to migrate out of position and result in crowding in other parts of the jaw. This often leads to the need for orthodontic correction in the coming years as a way to regain space for the adult teeth to emerge properly.
One of the best ways you can love and care for your child is to practice strong oral hygiene habits starting from infancy. Teach them the importance of taking care of their teeth, even if they are teeth that will eventually fall out. Every baby tooth matters! Call Mitzi Morris, DMD today for excellence in pediatric dentistry.