The Importance of Baby Teeth
Updated: Sep 7, 2019
Although your child’s baby teeth may only be temporary, they still play an incredibly important role in your child’s development, health and well-being.
As a result, you need to make sure that proper care and attention is taken with them, as this will allow you to ensure that your child doesn’t suffer from tooth decay or gum disease. In this post, we’ll outline a few reasons why baby teeth are so important in your child’s development.
Providing Space for Adult Teeth to Grow and Develop
The space that a child’s baby teeth (also referred to as primary teeth) occupy will eventually be filled by adult teeth. However, until this point, it’s important that the adult teeth are developed correctly.
Should your child lose a baby tooth too soon, then other teeth may move to fill the gap. This will mean that the adult teeth will become misaligned when they finish coming through, which will lead to a crooked smile and may mean your child needs to have braces.
If your child’s baby teeth are looked after properly and develop correctly, then they will guide the adult teeth into the correct position, leading to a happy and healthy smile.
In addition to this, it’s important to know that the adult teeth develop in very close proximity to the roots of the baby teeth. As baby teeth are smaller and have thinner enamel, any disease or decay can spread quickly. If this is left untreated, an abscess can develop which can damage the adult tooth underneath or hinder its development.
Eating, Chewing and Digestion
If your child’s teeth are clean and growing correctly, then they’ll be able to eat solid foods free from pain. If your child has some sensitivity in their mouth, then they may compensate for this when chewing their food, which could cause them developmental problems.
Your child’s baby teeth will help them learn how to bite and chew their food correctly, as they learn the jobs that their teeth can perform for them. They should use their incisors at the front of the mouth to bite and cut the food, while they should crush and tear food using their canines. The molars, at the back of their mouth, should be used for crushing and grinding.
By chewing their food correctly using all of their teeth, your child’s baby teeth will also play an important role in helping their face and jaw muscles develop correctly.
Speech and Facial Development
Teeth are also incredibly important for speech development as, in order to make certain sounds, a child’s tongue needs to be able to make contact with their teeth. In speech, the teeth are used to help control the flow of air from the mouth and, in combination with the lips and the mouth, they help to form words.
If your child has missing teeth or teeth that have fallen out prematurely, then they may struggle to learn how to properly make sounds and noises, which can then hinder their ability to form words as they get older.
In addition to this, the structure of your child’s teeth also provides support for developing your child’s facial muscles and also helps to shape your child’s face.
Smile and Self-Confidence
A healthy smile is a happy smile, and there’s nothing better than a happy, healthy child. As your child gets older and starts to attend school, they’ll begin to take part in more social interactions. If they’re in pain because of their oral health, or if they have missing teeth due to decay, then this may impact their self-confidence and self-esteem.
If you teach your children the importance of good oral care while they’re young, then they’ll develop well and have a happy and healthy smile. Should you need any advice on keeping your child’s baby teeth clean, or would like to book your child in for a check-up on their oral health, then please contact us or book online.