That’s right, we can’t have a disposable mentality towards baby teeth. Sure they aren’t meant to last, but they have a few jobs to do on top of letting the little buggers chew. Also known as primary teeth, these little choppers are more important than you may think.
For one thing, they reserve space for the permanent “adult teeth,” which will show up later, helping to guide them into position. When baby teeth are lost early, due to decay or injury, permanent teeth can drift into that extra space where they don’t belong. It’s like when it snows and you clear out your parking spot and save your spot by putting a lawn chair there. Without that chair, you just might find your neighbor’s Buick in your spot! Adult teeth are sneaky like that and can move into space if there’s no baby tooth holding the spot.
Decayed or damaged baby teeth can also result in crooked and overcrowded permanent teeth. They are important in the development of speech, and forming the proper facial shape as well. Keeping the teeth in good condition and in place can also mean no orthodontics, or an easier case, saving months in-treatment and lots of money.
Maybe the biggest reason to properly care for your children’s baby teeth is the same as adult’s, to keep them healthy and free of pain and infection. They are probably more susceptible to decay and kids are eating all of the time. Also, having healthy baby teeth can create a lifetime of excellent anxiety-free dental visits!
When a baby tooth gets decayed or infected, it can damage the permanent tooth developing underneath. Be sure your child avoids sugary drinks and sticky foods, and help them to brush frequently. Recent studies have shown juices, Gatorade and lemonade to be as bad, or worse than sodas. Of course seeing the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings is important for decay prevention, but also to allow us to find the problems when they are small.
Dr. Dillon suggests that babies come in to the office as soon as the first teeth erupt. Even if it’s just for a ride in the dental chair and a quick brushing, getting your child accustomed to the dentist goes a long way!
So now you know why it’s important to take care of those baby teeth! It’s also a good idea to encourage kids to learn how to take care of their teeth early on, and hopefully those good habits will carry on into adulthood.
No matter what your age, we at Dillon Family Dentistry care about your dental health and we want to see you! Give us a call at 610-525-5497 to set up your next appointment. Let us take care of those teeth of yours, no matter how long you’ve had them!