Why Baby Teeth Matter, and Other Important Questions

Eventually, your child’s baby teeth will start to fall out, one by one, making room for their permanent replacements to grow in and get settled. Because they’re destined to come out on their own, you might wonder what’s the point in trying to preserve them for as long as possible? The truth is that, while they will eventually come out, your child’s baby teeth (or primary teeth) have a few important roles to play. At our Galveston, TX, children’s dental office, our goal is to help your child protect and preserve their baby teeth until those roles have been completely fulfilled.

Is caring for baby teeth really that important?

You might consider baby teeth a practice round for your child to develop good dental hygiene skills. Your child will learn to brush and floss, and to visit the dentist on a regular basis, while the primary teeth are still growing and developing. By the time they’re ready to fall out, your child should mostly have the skills needed to care for their smile for life. However, baby teeth are more than just practice; they also help set the foundation for the future of your child’s smile. They create and maintain the space needed along your child’s dental ridges for the permanent teeth to develop properly.

What if my child gets a cavity?

Their importance to your child’s long-term oral health is why caring for baby teeth matters, but consistent care doesn’t always guarantee safety from things like cavities. If your child develops a cavity in a baby tooth, then the infection may affect the permanent tooth structure that’s still developing within the jawbone. Treating the cavity with a custom, minimally invasive restoration will help your child retain the tooth until the time comes for it to fall out without endangering the permanent tooth or any surrounding teeth.

What happens if a baby tooth falls out early?

Falling out too early can also cause baby teeth to fail in their goals of preparing your child’s smile for the future. If your child’s baby tooth is accidentally knocked out, or requires an extraction due to extreme circumstances, then we can still help maintain the space that it was meant to maintain until the permanent tooth erupts. Small, custom space maintainers can be placed between the adjacent remaining teeth to ensure that they don’t begin to crowd toward each other and throw your child’s bite out of alignment.

Get answers to more children’s dentistry questions

They may not be meant to last for too long, but while they’re present, your child’s baby (primary) teeth serve several important functions. For more information about the importance of helping your child protect them, schedule a consultation by calling Children’s Dental in Galveston, TX, today at 409-744-4551.