PDG Blog

Baby's Teeth

5 Reasons Why Baby Teeth Are Important

Aug 8 • 2 minute read

Also referred to as deciduous teeth or primary teeth, baby teeth are the first of two sets that your child will get during his or her lifetime. The first 20 deciduous teeth are present in the jaw at birth but do not erupt from the gums until your child is at least six months old. Eventually, these fall out to make room for the permanent teeth, which start coming out around age 6.

Some parents mistakenly think that because baby teeth are temporary, it does not matter what happens to them. However, primary teeth have an important role to play before they fall out. Therefore, it is important to protect and preserve them to the extent possible.

1. Speech

During the early years of your child's life, his or her brain is primed to learn to speak and understand language. The baby teeth help children to learn correct pronunciation, as the cheeks, lips, and tongue all deflect off the teeth during speech. If the deciduous teeth are missing, your child may have difficulty with pronunciation when learning to speak. His or her speech problems may persist into later life.

2. Nutrition

Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but especially for children whose bodies are still growing and developing. Decay of the primary teeth can cause difficulties with chewing, and your child may not receive proper nutrition as a result.

3. Alignment

Baby teeth act as placeholders, reserving the space for the permanent teeth to eventually come in. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the other teeth may shift to close in the space. When the permanent tooth eventually comes in, there is not enough room left for it. Crowding and malocclusion can result.

4. General Oral Health

What happens to the primary teeth can affect the permanent teeth because the latter develop very close to the roots of the former. Decay or infection of the baby teeth may damage the permanent teeth before they even emerge.

5. Concentration Abilities

Decay or infection can cause pain in the mouth that can sometimes be severe. The distraction that the pain causes can affect your child's concentration. Therefore, tooth decay can indirectly have a negative effect on your child's performance in school.

Pediatric Dentistry for Care of Baby Teeth

Fortunately, with care in a doctor's office and consistent oral hygiene at home, it is possible to keep your child's baby teeth healthy until they have served their purpose and are ready to come out. Find out more about the preventive program we offer at Pediatric Dental Group.

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