Since children will eventually lose all of their baby teeth, why is it so important to treat them or look after them?

There are 20 primary or deciduous baby teeth as opposed to the 32 adult teeth we have. From 6 months to approximately 6 years of age, children will start to develop their first set of teeth.  In stages, children then start to lose these teeth whilst also developing new ones. This transitional period can last around 5 years and usually occur between 6 to 13 years of age.

This is Hartwell Dentistry’s blog today.  Why save baby teeth?

Positive dental experiences from a young age are important, as it will help children start a lifetime of good oral health habits. Seeing a dentist from an early age help educate both child and parents about personalised oral care at home, which can prevent problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Why save baby teeth?

Baby teeth serve many purposes during childhood:

  • Socially: Baby teeth help children smile and “look normal”. Loss of baby teeth can impact a child’s confidence and self-esteem throughout childhood.
  • Space: Baby teeth reserve spaces in the jaw for future adult teeth to come through. They also help guide the eruption of adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth adjacent to the missing baby tooth can tilt into the gap causing space-loss in the jaw. When this occurs, there may not be enough room for the adult tooth to come through straight or worse; the adult tooth would be blocked from erupting.
  • Functionality: Just as adult teeth do, baby teeth allow children to be able to chew food to obtain the nutrition they require to grow and develop.
  • Speech development: As a functional and a social role, baby teeth are important to help with speech development for children.

Like all teeth, if baby teeth are not cared for, they can become diseased.

The current statistic is that nearly 50% of Australian children under six years old suffer from preventable tooth decay. Neglected baby teeth can eventually cause abscess and pain.

Next week we will follow on from today with handy tips on how to help prevent decay in your child’s baby teeth.