3 Reasons Your Child's Baby Teeth Are Important

Posted on: 13 March 2015

All humans typically develop baby teeth, also known as milk, deciduous or primary teeth, under the gums during the second trimester of pregnancy. The teeth will usually emerge from the gums and will eventually fall out to be replaced with permanent, adult teeth.

But some people still don't think that these baby teeth are important. After all, they'll fall out and it's the adult teeth that need the most care to last the child the rest of their life. This simply isn't true, and here are three reasons why your child's baby teeth are important.

1. They are placeholders for your child's adult teeth. Your child's baby teeth effectively tell their adult teeth where to grow. This is why your child's first teeth will be spaced out, this leaves the adult teeth more room to fit into the mouth.

Therefore, if your child has a baby tooth accidentally knocked out before it's ready to fall out, seek dental advice. If the remaining teeth grow into the space that has been made, your child's adult teeth will suffer and not have enough room to grow. Your dentist will be able to provide you with a 'space maintainer' which will save that space for your child's adult tooth.

2. They ensure your child's jaw grows correctly. Some people believe that milk teeth are softer than adult teeth, but this is far from the truth. Baby teeth are just as strong as the permanent older teeth and this strength, as well as their positioning, helps your child's jaw bone develop correctly. Your child's whole mouth is guided by these baby teeth as it grows.

3. They help your child to eat and speak. You've probably already guessed that your child's teeth help them to eat as they move from milk to solid food. The health of your child's teeth is also crucial to this, if your child is in pain due to a decaying or incorrectly growing tooth they will be less likely to eat. Baby teeth can also help your child to develop speech. Baby teeth keep the tongue in the correct place and allow your child to learn correct pronunciation of syllables and words.  

So now you understand why those baby teeth are important, help your child to understand how to look after them. You should start gently brushing your baby's teeth as soon as one shows through. They will grow up to 20 teeth, so it's a good idea to take them for their first dentist appointment once those teeth start poking through and ensure your child's mouth stays healthy. Resources like Thomas Aulsebrook & Associates can help.