If baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, why is it a big deal to take care of them? We get this question a lot, but the truth is, there are plenty of reasons to take good care of baby teeth. Here are four of them:
1. They’re multifunctional. Just as permanent teeth do for older kids and adults, baby teeth help your child to chew food for proper nutrition. But did you know that they also help children develop speech? Teeth help the mouth pronounce words correctly so your child can speak clearly.
2. They’re vulnerable to decay. The enamel on baby teeth is not as hard as the enamel on adult teeth. Tooth decay is painful, and if left untreated, it can quickly spread through the dentin to the root of the tooth. And, remember, tooth decay can also spread from person to person via shared utensils, food, and kisses.
3. They affect the permanent teeth. Baby teeth are like placeholders for the permanent teeth to come in after them. Baby teeth that fall out too early due to neglect can lead to crooked or crowded adult teeth.
4. Caring for them sets an important home care routine. Taking care of baby teeth sets the stage for a healthy baby, child, and adult. If you begin to take care of baby teeth as soon as they emerge, you are helping your child learn the importance of brushing, eating healthy foods, and seeing a dentist—habits that will serve them well in the years to come!
How soon should you see a pediatric dentist? We recommend taking them between 1 to 2 years old, when multiple baby teeth are present.