Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Baby teeth aren’t just temporary. They create the permanence of how your child’s dental health will be in the future.

Baby teeth are super exciting for first-time parents. Once the hardships of getting them to break through and the teething phase are over, most parents give little thought to baby teeth.

While they are a temporary fixture, if they are damaged, develop cavities, or if they aren’t taken excellent care of, no harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Baby teeth are crucial to your child’s overall dental health.

When do baby teeth come in?

Baby teeth generally start coming in around 6 months of age. By age 3, your child will likely have their first set of teeth, and between the ages of 6 and 12, they will lose their baby teeth.

When should your child first see their dentist?

When your child has their first tooth surface, it is a momentous occasion, and it is also a signal that it is time to visit the dentist. Since decay can occur at any age and time, it is critical to have your child’s teeth examined every six months.

The ideal situation is to have your child’s first dental examination by age one. That way, your child will be less likely to be intimidated by the dentist in the future. Seeing a dentist early in life will also help set up a lifetime of healthy oral habits.

What is the role of baby teeth?

Most children will have all their primary teeth by the age of three. The primary teeth are not just essential for chewing and eating, they also:

  • Help to promote good nutrition by chewing essential foods
  • Aid in speech development
  • Provide the basis for a good foundation for permanent teeth to break through

What if you don’t take care of your child’s primary teeth?

If you don’t take good care of your child’s baby teeth, not only are you setting a bad example, you might be doing damage to their permanent ones. If a child gets a cavity early on without care, it will lead to pain and can ultimately result in an infection that could hurt the permanent teeth waiting below.

If an infection sets in, a child’s immune system might not be capable of fighting it, which can lead to serious consequences if left undetected.

Good Habits Last a Lifetime

Most importantly, studies show that the habits children develop early tend to follow them throughout adulthood. If you don’t establish good oral hygiene in their younger years, you are predisposing them to a lifetime of poor dental habits and dental health.

If you teach them how to take care of their baby teeth, when the permanent teeth begin to surface, they will have both the knowledge and the skills to take care of them effectively and stave off cavities to maintain their oral health.

Baby teeth might seem unimportant. The truth is that a child’s primary teeth are there to teach a child how to care for their teeth when they become permanent.

Teaching your children early to brush their teeth, floss with care, and visit the dentist regularly is the best way to ensure that when those permanent teeth are ready to surface, your child is prepared to take care of them.

Pediatric Dentist St. Louis

Your child’s initial oral examination will include a visual examination, charting, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if dental sedation or anesthesia is right for your child.

Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!

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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: August 31, 2023

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