Baby teeth are those 20 teeth you’ll eventually see emerge in your child’s mouth. Starting at around the age of six months all the way up to nearly three years of age, primary teeth will continue to make an appearance.
At around age six, kids will begin to shed their baby teeth and grow their permanent teeth. Although all your child’s baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, these primary teeth are still essential to take care of. Here’s why!
Baby Teeth Set the Stage for Adult Teeth
Primary teeth help permanent teeth know where to come in. As your child’s permanent teeth develop and push through the gum tissue, their baby teeth will become loose and eventually fall out.
However, if baby teeth are lost too soon, whether from tooth decay or an injury, adult teeth won’t have a placeholder to know where to come in. Instead, permanent teeth can come in crooked, which can cause misaligned or crowded teeth, leading to the need for orthodontia to correct the position of the adult teeth .
Health Problems From Primary Teeth Can Affect Permanent Teeth
Many parents don’t realize that tooth decay that exists in baby teeth can actually transfer to the adult teeth as they come in. In fact, the enamel on baby teeth isn’t quite as strong as that on permanent teeth, which can lead to a greater risk for cavities in children .
Keeping your child’s baby teeth healthy and free of decay can support healthy, cavity-free adult teeth, giving them a strong start to a lifelong healthy smile!
Primary Teeth Support Proper Speech Development
Baby teeth aren’t just cute—they support proper speech development in children, not to mention proper chewing and self-confidence . When a child isn’t able to pronounce words properly, they can become self-conscious and be misunderstood, which can cause learning difficulties and shyness as your little one grows up. With healthy baby teeth, you support your child’s development, from speaking properly to chewing their food to their self confidence as they mature!
How to Support Your Child’s Healthiest Smile
Supporting your child’s healthiest smile is easy with the right care. Three essential aspects to caring for your little one’s baby teeth are:
- Cleaning their teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are all that’s needed to keep your child’s smile clean and cavity-free!
- Taking them to the dentist. Regular dental visits help your dentist detect oral health
problems early, which means minimal treatment and healthier teeth.
- Encouraging a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in nutrients and whole foods instead of sugar and processed foods can help your child’s teeth have all the nutrients they need to stay strong.
Have questions about your child’s dental health or their oral care? Don’t hesitate to ask your child-friendly dentist! Your dentist can help you put a plan in place to properly care for your child’s teeth and make a strong smile possible for life!