You may wonder if your child’s baby teeth are really that important – they are all going to fall out after all! We are here to tell you that YES, they are very important. Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, play a big role in your child’s oral growth and development. Even though we know that they will fall out, it is important to care for your child’s baby teeth as you would their permanent teeth.
The Purpose of Baby Teeth
Besides just giving your child their sweet smile, baby teeth
have several jobs to do. Such as:
- Helping with speaking and correct pronunciation
- Holding place for permanent teeth to grow beneath the gums
- Strengthening jaw and facial muscles
- Stimulating bony growth of the face/skull
The Role Baby Teeth Play in Permanent Teeth
Permanent teeth grow beneath the gums before they erupt. The baby teeth act as a placeholder for permanent teeth to come in. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely (most often due to injury or decay) it is possible that the tooth will longer hold the place for the adult tooth under the surface of the gums. The result of that premature tooth loss can cause teeth to shift as permanent teeth begin to erupt. This can cause dental crowding and lead to orthodontic problems. There may also be a delay in adult teeth growing in properly due to prematurely lost baby teeth.
How to Care for Your Babies Teeth
It is very important to make sure children know how to care for their teeth and practice good oral hygiene well before their adult teeth come in. Permanent teeth generally start to come in around the age of 6 or 7, but, as parents, we should be taking care of our child’s oral health before they even have teeth!
Get your baby used to a daily dental routine by gently wiping their gums with a damp washcloth. Once your child’s baby teeth begin to come in, brush them twice daily with an age-appropriate sized toothbrush and toothpaste. It is also important to schedule twice-a-year routine checkup appointments
. Failing to care for your babies teeth properly can lead to painful decay and/or dental procedures that you want to avoid.
Let Us Help
At Pediatric Dentistry of Florence, our main priority is our patients and that includes their families! As our patient’s parents, you play an integral part in your child’s oral health and development. If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us
! Dr. Cruise
and the team are all here to help.