“Baby teeth don’t really matter; they are going to fall out anyway.” Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps you have even thought it yourself. The truth is, however, that baby teeth are more than just space holders for “grown up” teeth. Primary teeth play a vital role in a child’s health and development including aiding in digestion and helping a child learn to speak properly.
Dr. Keith Morley, pediatric dental specialist and president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, states, “Most of these first teeth, apart from the front ones, will be there for a decade – and keeping them healthy is essential for your child’s adult teeth to grow in healthy and strong. If your child’s baby teeth are left to decay, they can become infected or abscessed. In addition to causing pain and suffering, infections can harm and even destroy the developing permanent teeth which are growing in the child’s jaw. Plus, early loss of baby teeth can lead to the permanent teeth growing in crooked – and no one should discount how psychologically important an attractive smile is to a growing child. Therefore, baby teeth are essential for your child’s general health and well-being.”
For more information on the importance of your child’s primary teeth and for suggestions on ways to keep them healthy, visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s website at www.aapd.org.