Dr. Mila Cohen and all of our great dentists here at the True Dental Care for Kids and Teens often get asked by parents and caregivers why they need to look after their child’s primary teeth, as after all they are only baby teeth and they will soon fall out after just a few years.
We always try to stress that all teeth are important regardless of whether they are baby teeth or adult teeth and milk teeth have several vital functions. We’ve listed six great reasons for looking after your child’s teeth below.
- Your child’s primary teeth help hold open the correct amount of space for their adult teeth. Think of these teeth as being placeholders or guides for permanent adult teeth and without them the adult teeth will not know quite where to erupt and there may not be sufficient room for them to erupt properly. If a child loses baby teeth to soon then the teeth next door will soon begin drifting into the gap left behind, leaving the adult teeth far less room to erupt properly.
- Primary teeth help your child learn to speak properly and are vital for speech development. If a child loses their front teeth they can have difficulty articulating certain sounds. This can delay their speech development and may mean they end up with a lisp. This in turn could make them self-conscious about interacting with others.
- If a child doesn’t have strong and healthy teeth then they are more likely to choose soft, easy to eat, processed foods rather than to opt for more natural foods such as crunchy fruits and vegetables and grains. A poor diet can affect their general development and overall health.
- Everybody feels more self-confident with a nice smile and it’s no different for children. Once they start kindergarten will begin to notice how other children look and behave and if a child has a healthy smile they are more likely to be confident and open with others whereas having obvious signs of tooth decay or missing teeth can make a child feel self-conscious. Children with poor dental health can become withdrawn or shy and will miss out on socializing with others.
- Toothache is horrible at any age and when a young child has dental pain they are less likely to be able to concentrate at school, may suffer from sleepiness or will be absent because of the need for emergency dental treatment.
- Young children are eager to learn and it is much easier to begin instilling good oral habits into them right from the start so they know how to take care of their teeth when they eventually develop enough dexterity to begin brushing on their own. If you ignore their dental health until they have their adult teeth then it can be much harder to teach them the importance of brushing and flossing and of course they may begin to associate dental visits with pain which could mean they end up with lifelong fears and phobias.
The nice thing about bringing your child to visit us is that we are all specially trained to treat young children and we are great at making sure dental care is as enjoyable as possible.