Healthy baby (primary) teeth play an important role in children's healthy development, allowing them to chew and digest their food efficiently, and contributing significantly to their oral development as they grow up.
What are primary teeth?
Like many other mammals, humans grow two sets of teeth. Baby teeth (also called primary teeth) are the first set to develop, and typically growing in starting at about one year old.
What are primary teeth for?
Primary teeth play two main roles. First of all, allow children to chew their food properly, which in turn helps them better digest it and take in the nutrients they need more efficiently.
Primary also serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth, guiding them into the proper positions as they erupt.
Why do primary teeth matter in orthodontics?
Since primary teeth act as guides for the erupting permanent teeth, if they fall out early as a result of decay or other damage it can cause the permanent teeth to erupt in the wrong positions. This can make orthodontic treatment necessary in the future.
How to Prevent Early Loss of Primary Teeth
It will probably come as no surprise to you that when it comes to preventing early loss of primary teeth, oral hygiene is key. Keep your child's baby teeth clean so that decay doesn’t develop; this means a regular brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups.
For children who play sports, a mouth guard can help protect the primary teeth from any damage from impact during games.
What if my child does loose a primary tooth too early?
If your child looses a primary tooth prematurely, visit your orthodontist for a consultation and exam. The orthodontist may prescribe a space maintainer to preserve the structural integrity of our child’s mouth until it’s time for the adult teeth to erupt.
The orthodontist will also provide advice and insights on caring for the remaining primary teeth, including demonstrating more effective cleaning techniques to keep any more teeth from falling out.