What are baby teeth?
Baby teeth (otherwise known as milk teeth or primary teeth) are the first set of teeth to erupt in a child’s mouth. Most children will get their first baby teeth at about six months, but this can range from every child.
Why are they important?
Many people believe that primary teeth are not as important because they will eventually fall out. However, there are a few reasons why these teeth are needed:
Development of permanent teeth: Baby teeth help guide the way for the eruption of permanent, or adult teeth. The roots of the baby tooth guide the permanent tooth into its proper position.
Maintaining proper spacing: All primary teeth should have some spacing in between them. The adult teeth are larger, therefore require more room to come in. If a baby tooth falls out too early, the surrounding teeth may start to drift in the space. This can lead to the adult teeth coming in crooked or crowded, or being unable to erupt. A situation such as this may require other interventions such as extractions or braces.
Speech Development: Proper positioning of the teeth help children with speech and pronunciation.
How Do I Care for my Child’s Teeth?
Regular brushing and flossing. This will not only keep the teeth from decay, but it will help to form proper habits in the future. Most children are unable to brush and floss on their own properly. They do not have the dexterity to clean their teeth thoroughly. As a result, it is recommended that parents help brush their children’s teeth until they can do it properly themselves.
When Should my Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
There are many varying answers to this question, but the most common time for them to see a dentist is by one year old or at the eruption of their first baby tooth. By this time, they should have all of their baby teeth in place. The dentist or hygienist can start to assess their oral hygiene and make any suggestions about improving home care. They can also begin checking for any cavities at this point.
Feel free to contact us with any other questions regarding your child’s dental health.