WHY ARE BABY TEETH IMPORTANT? WON’T THEY FALL OUT EVENTUALLY?
Your child’s baby (or primary) teeth first erupt at around 6 months of age. You may think that because they fall out eventually, dental care for baby teeth is not all that important. However, baby teeth only start to be replaced by permanent teeth from ages 6 up till 11, which means that your child will be using baby teeth for the first decade of life. This decade is crucial in terms of growth and development.
Healthy baby teeth allow your child to chew properly for optimal nutrition, and enable the development of proper speech habits. Baby teeth also maintain the space needed to guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions.
A beautiful smile is integral to your child’s self-esteem, and it begins with the very first baby tooth.
This is why dental diseases such as Early Childhood Caries are so destructive. Decayed teeth are not only unsightly, but they also lead to pain and infection. Infected baby teeth disrupt the development of the underlying permanent teeth, which may eventually become discolored or malformed. Painful, infected teeth lead to loss of sleep and appetite, and may require extraction. If baby teeth are extracted, permanent teeth lose their proper guidance and may become crooked.
Thus, the proper care and maintenance of baby teeth contribute towards the total health and wellbeing of your growing child, and these habits learnt when young translate into a lifetime of good oral health.