They Hold the Place for Adult Teeth
One of the most important functions of baby teeth, or primary teeth is that they hold the future place of the adult teeth. For the adult tooth to erupt under the baby tooth, the adult tooth uses the root of the baby tooth to find its place, resorbing the root of the baby tooth away as it erupts. If the baby tooth was lost prematurely (due to cavities or trauma), the adult tooth might erupt out of position, due to lack of a baby tooth root for guidance.
Baby Teeth Prevent Shifting
When primary teeth are lost prematurely, the other teeth may shift and cause future crowding of adult teeth. Teeth tend to want to move centrally in the mouth, meaning forward, so sometimes teeth behind missing teeth may move in, to close the gap. This can make the future eruption of the adult teeth tricky, leading to crowding, misalignment and the need for braces.
They Determine the Health of the Adult Teeth
Healthy primary teeth lead the way for healthy adult teeth. If a baby tooth is kept free of cavities, infections and trauma, it results in a higher chance of having a healthy adult tooth. Infections and trauma to primary teeth can lead to issues with future adult teeth. In the case of injury, when a baby tooth is bumped, and the root hits the delicate forming adult tooth underneath, there can be damage to the adult tooth. Sometimes the adult tooth will erupt with a discoloured spot that is white, yellow or grey because the enamel wasn’t able to form properly due to trauma.
Baby Teeth Are Important for Function and Aesthetic
Baby teeth are essential for biting, chewing, speaking and smiling. Baby teeth should be kept healthy to benefit your child and maintain proper function and aesthetic. Missing primary teeth can lead to malnutrition and a lack of confidence.