As humans, we receive two complete sets of teeth during our lifetime: baby teeth and permanent teeth. Our baby teeth, more scientifically known as “primary teeth” or “deciduous teeth,” stay with us from infancy until mid-childhood, when we start losing these teeth over several years.
You may have vague memories of losing your baby teeth as a child and might even remember what it was like to have your permanent teeth grow in to take their place. Now that you’re a little older, and if you have children of your own, it’s essential to understand the crucial role baby teeth play in maintaining overall oral health and protecting smiles for years to come.
Each Tooth Has a Part to Play in Your Child’s Smile
Because baby teeth eventually fall out anyway, you may be wondering why keeping them healthy in the first place even matters. While it’s true your child will lose all their primary teeth over time, they mustn’t lose those teeth before their mouth is ready.
Each of your child’s baby teeth is in a specific location to serve a unique purpose. If your child loses individual teeth early due to untreated cavities and tooth decay, it can negatively affect the development and placement of their permanent teeth later in life.
Prematurely losing deciduous teeth can trigger permanent teeth to grow in too early or to erupt at strange angles because other baby teeth will shift around in the mouth. When your child’s smile is not ready to receive their adult teeth, this can mean a host of orthodontic and oral health concerns down the road.
Teaching Your Child Healthy Dental Habits for Life
Another benefit of teaching your child effective brushing and flossing habits is that you help them prepare for a lifetime of having a healthy smile. When your child learns from a young age that they should take care of their teeth, it helps them avoid cavities and gum disease at every age.
Additionally, you, as the parent, will save time and money when your child does not need dental fillings or premature tooth extractions while they are young!
If you have additional questions about children’s dentistry in San Jose, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable dental team today by calling (408) 258-5054.