Do baby teeth really matter, they will fall out eventually?
Has this thought ever ran through your mind? If you said yes, you are not alone. Probably late at night as you tackle your ninja like child who is a world champion in toothbrush evasion.
As moms we have all been there, if you have kids like mine you become an expert in distractions. But these teeth do have a very important job. Here are some of the reasons we need to win the daily toothbrush battle, and even add in flossing!
Chewing / Nutrition
Remember when those cuties were eating nothing but puree until they got their first chompers in. One of the roles of baby teeth are of course to allow proper chewing so they are not limited in nutritional options. Introducing proper oral hygiene early will ensure your kids can keep their baby teeth up until they are due to fall out naturally for their adult replacements.
The other major job baby teeth have is keeping space for the adult teeth below. If a baby tooth gets a cavity or infection sometimes it needs to be extracted or this infection can damage a developing tooth below. If the cavity is small and the tooth savable we always try to keep the baby tooth unless its infection is compromising the adult tooth below.
When a baby tooth is removed early for this reason it can sometimes be years before the adult tooth is due to erupt from below. In this time all the teeth behind it can drift forwards crowding the space and trapping the adult tooth below necessitating orthodontic treatment to correct this.
We recommend regular 6 month check ups and cleanings to keep these baby teeth healthy, clean and beautiful. The aesthetics of the baby teeth are not all too important from an appearance standpoint alone. However the adult teeth developing below will be with them a lifetime so we want to start them off without any cavities or defects. If an infection in a baby tooth is left untreated a defect in the formation of the adult tooth below can occur and present in this adult tooth with discolouration, pits, and overall weaker enamel.