Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or milk teeth are the first teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most kids will have their first baby teeth erupt into the mouth at around six months. However, this can vary with each child.
Why are they important?
Many of us think that because the baby teeth eventually fall out, they are not that important. However, there are a variety of reasons why it is vital to keep baby teeth healthy until the adult teeth are ready to erupt into the mouth.
Guiding Permanent Teeth
Baby teeth act as a guide for the eventual eruption of permanent or adult teeth into the mouth. The roots of the baby tooth help to guide the adult tooth into its final position.
The primary teeth generally have some space in between them. However, because the adult teeth are larger and wider, they require more space to come in. When a baby tooth is lost earlier than it should be, the nearby teeth start to drift in the empty area. When this drifting occurs, the adult teeth may erupt into the mouth in a crooked or crowded fashion. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be required to treat spacing issues.
Proper positioning of the adult teeth helps with correct speech and pronunciation.
Caring For Baby Teeth
Instilling regular brushing and flossing habits will keep teeth healthy and prevent decay, and help to form good habits in the future. Since most young children have difficulty brushing and flossing on their own, it is recommended the parents help until they gain the level of dexterity needed.
If you notice dark areas on the baby teeth or suspicious areas that do not go away after brushing, see your dentist soon. Ensuring that baby teeth are healthy allows for the best outcome of adult teeth later. Contact us to schedule your visit now.