4 reasons Why Baby Teeth Matter
When you’ve had a long day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is try to herd your toddler or young child into the bathroom and get out the toothbrush and toothpaste. It can take some time and effort, and does it really matter? After all, if a baby tooth gets a cavity or chip, it will be replaced by an adult tooth later in your child’s life, right? Nope!
While it’s true that baby teeth aren’t permanent, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. Here are four major reasons why you should make sure your child’s baby teeth are well cared for.
1) Establish good habits early.
When your child’s adult teeth start to come in, he or she won’t suddenly develop good brushing habits overnight. The most effective way to ensure a healthy smile for a lifetime is to help your kid learn to brush and floss early on. By teaching your little one to protect those baby teeth, he or she will likely continue to do so with adult teeth, protecting his or her oral health for years to come. The earlier you start the better - you don’t want to have to nag about brushing when your child’s a teenager!
2) Protect the adult teeth.
While it’s true that an adult tooth will come in when a baby tooth falls out, that doesn’t mean that these early teeth aren’t important. If a baby tooth develops an infection, the disease can fester around the roots, which are right next to the adult tooth growing under the gums. The infection can stop the larger tooth from developing correctly, or even kill it, leaving a permanent gap when the baby tooth falls out. That space will need to be filled by a bridge or implant later on, which can be expensive.
3) Preserve the spacing.
The timing of a baby tooth coming out is based on the development of the adult tooth growing under the gums. But if one of the baby teeth develops an infection or other problem and falls out or is removed early, the adult tooth may come in too soon, causing the tooth to come in the wrong place or in at the wrong angle. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t necessarily solved when the other baby teeth fall out and the adult ones come in. The crowding can often result in problems that will require braces or other methods of intervention down the road.
4) Avoid pain.
All other health issues aside, the fact remains that cavities and other oral problems hurt! Your child won’t enjoy having a cavity and, as a parent, neither will you. Regular brushing and flossing can help avoid much of this discomfort.