Are Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth don’t merely serve to help your child through infancy. They can influence an individual’s physical, emotional, and social development due to a whole host of reasons.
Baby teeth will create the space and guide permanent teeth into their intended positions. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely (due to poor hygiene or physical trauma), it can encourage the adjacent teeth to fill the space. In some cases, this may block the adult tooth from breaking through the gum in the position that it should.
Problems affecting baby teeth, such as infections and cavities, can prevent permanent teeth from developing properly, or at all. This happens due to proximity between the root of a baby tooth and the location of where the associated adult tooth will develop, and causes major problems before the baby teeth have been lost.
The baby teeth are crucial for your child’s ability to talk, eat, chew, and interact with the world. So, while you should naturally have one eye on adult teeth, it’s important not to overlook the immediate reliance on healthy and functioning teeth. Besides, infections to the baby teeth can spread throughout the body and may harm their development.
Problems with baby teeth can be hugely distracting, which stops your child from developing on a social level due to self-consciousness and ongoing discomfort. This can indirectly lead to psychological and emotional issues over time. Appearances and function are equally important for baby teeth as adult teeth.
Baby teeth will impact facial development as the support muscle growth and help the jawbone grow in the right manner. Likewise, baby teeth can influence the tongue and gum development while also significantly changing the way sounds are made and expressed. It can subsequently spill over into their permanent teeth, too.
Encouraging healthy baby teeth
You can start to brush your baby’s teeth even before they surface. There are many baby and child-friendly toothbrushes, toothpastes, and cleaning gels on the market. The habit of brushing twice daily can also be supported by appropriate mouthwash and flossing.
Following a healthy diet that isn’t loaded with sugar is vital, too. Likewise, good hydration from water can wash away food particles and bacteria before it develops into plaque and tartar. Crucially, good daily rituals should be supported by visiting a pediatric dentist on a frequent basis. In addition to checking the development and providing a professional clean, it familiarizes your child with visiting the dentist.
For more information on the importance of baby teeth or to schedule your child’s next appointment, please contact us today!