Baby Teeth- Are They Important?
We have had a lot of questions lately from our patients about why baby teeth are important. Baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth for many reasons! As children are growing and developing, they need their baby teeth to learn to speak properly, chew food properly and build confidence in their smile. Dr. Rudi As-Sanie shares why baby teeth are important.
Here is the rundown:
- As children are learning new words, their teeth help them pronounce words properly. Think about when you say the word “teeth”, you use your top front teeth to help say the end of the word. What about the word thank you? The average age to start losing teeth is 6, which usually begins with one of the bottom front ones. It is important for children to keep their teeth until they lose them naturally to prevent speech development issues.
- Proper nutrition is very important for growth and development. Children need their teeth to bite into foods like sandwiches and apples and chew hard crunchy foods like carrots and pretzels. Children do not typically lose their baby molars until age 11-13.
- Confidence is super important for children as they are making new friends and starting school. Smiling helps children feel good about themselves. Losing teeth prematurely can decrease a child’s confidence and keep them from smiling.
If your child does need a tooth removed before it is ready to fall out on its own, a space maintainer may be recommended to preserve the space for once the permanent tooth is ready to come in.
Tips to prevent your child from losing baby teeth prematurely:
- Limiting anything besides water to meals only.
- Helping your child brush twice daily for 2 minutes and floss once a day until they have the dexterity to do so themselves (usually once they can tie their own shoes).
- Limiting consumption of sticky foods like fruit snacks, dried fruits, and candy.
- Take them to the dentist every 6 months for regular checkups.
- Never put a baby to bed with a bottle or sippy cup with anything other than water. This can cause baby bottle tooth decay which eats away at the teeth as they are erupting.
Check out our blog to learn more interesting facts about you and your family’s oral health.