“Baby Teeth” are as important to infants and children as permanent teeth are to older children and adults. These “first teeth” are necessary for a child to chew and speak. But milk teeth serve another very important purpose-they save space for the child’s future permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.
When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded.
Here is a small list of why we need to take care of milk teeth as we take care of permanent (adult) teeth:
- For proper tooth alignment and position – The primary teeth save space for the adult teeth and guide the adult teeth into their proper position. If the baby tooth is lost early due to tooth decay, the adjacent teeth tend to drift or tip into that space.
- For healthy permanent teeth – If cavities are left untreated, the baby tooth can develop an infection or abscess which can hinder tooth development and cause damage to the underlying permanent tooth
- For speech and facial development – The tongue, lips, and cheeks deflect off teeth when forming various sounds and proper positioning of milk teeth assist in the formation of correct pronunciation during speech. The tooth structure also provides support for the developing facial muscles and gives shape to your child’s face.
- Proper health and nutrition – Teeth, of course, are needed for chewing. Dental pain from cavities can lead to nutritional deficiencies if the child is not able to properly chew their food.
- Concentration and self-esteem – Dental pain from cavities can greatly affect a child’s ability to pay attention and learn in school. Decayed teeth can also interfere with a child’s social interactions and affect their confidence and self-esteem.
What to do if a milk tooth is lost early?
If a child loses a milk tooth too early before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt or if it is accidentally knocked out, or is removed by the dentist because of infection, etc., space must be saved. This is done by a device called a space maintainer which holds the space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, stopping the other teeth from tipping or drifting into space. Pedodontists are the ones who usually place the space maintainers.
Who do I visit if my child loses a milk tooth?
You can visit a Pedodontist who specializes in treating dental problems related to children. For the finest choice of them all, visit Alux Dental, Hyderabad where you can get your child checked up thoroughly.
Bottom line is to teach your child to develop good oral care habits with their milk teeth, as these early habits will help them keep those permanent teeth healthy for life!