Why Baby Teeth Are Just As Important As Permanent Teeth

Baby teeth are very important to children’s health and development of permanent teeth. They would hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

The permanent teeth develop very close to the roots of the baby teeth. Baby teeth are much smaller and cavities can spread very quickly through their thin enamel. If cavities are left untreated, the baby tooth can develop and infection or abscess which can hinder tooth development and cause damage to the permanent tooth underneath.

Teeth, of course, are needed for chewing. Dental pain from cavities can lead to nutritional deficiencies if the child is not able to properly chew their food. Also, if cavities are left untreated, there is a great risk of an infection forming. And this infection can spread to other areas of the body and even to the brain. This can turn into an emergency situation very rapidly and the child may need to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, there have been reported cases where children have died from a dental abscess.

The tongue, lips and cheeks deflect off teeth when forming sounds. The presence and proper positioning of baby teeth assist in the formation of correct pronunciation during speech. The tooth structure also provides support for the developing facial muscles and gives shape to your child’s face.

If your child is having dental pain, it can greatly affect their ability to pay attention and learn in school. Decayed teeth can also interfere with a child’s social interactions and affect their confidence and self-esteem. This can also lead to children missing school and parents having to miss work if they have to take children into the dentist for emergency appointments.