The healthy development of baby teeth is an essential part of the healthy development of your child’s mouth. Taking care of baby teeth now may help prevent the need for braces later on.
Healthy baby teeth are important to children’s overall health and development because they allow children to eat, speak and digest food properly.
But baby teeth also play a crucial role in the growth pattern of erupting permanent teeth. They function as place holders that guide the permanent teeth into the correct positions as they erupt.
This means that if baby teeth fall out prematurely due to injury or decay, the permanent teeth could erupt in the wrong positions.
For these reasons, good oral hygiene and a meticulous brushing and flossing routine should begin early, when your child's baby teeth start to come in.
It’s never too early to start your child’s oral hygiene routine!
You can start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to erupt. And even before that, wiping the gums with a damp cloth after meals will help keep the mouth free of bacteria. And of course, teaching your child to brush and floss as early as possible is a good idea, too.
If you child’s baby teeth do fall out early, a dentist or orthodontist can prescribe a space maintainer. This dental device will preserve the spaces left by the missing teeth, giving the emerging permanent teeth the structure necessary to grow into their proper positions.