Losing your first baby tooth is a childhood milestone. But have you ever wondered why we have this set of temporary teeth in the first place? It turns out that baby teeth play a very important and practical role in our development, despite how temporary they are.
Background on Baby Teeth
Our first baby teeth being erupting around 6-8 months. (Check out this baby teeth eruption timeline from the American Dental Association!) In all, children have a set of 20 baby teeth that help them chew food and talk clearly. But those aren’t the most important roles of baby teeth! Baby teeth actually help preserve space for adult teeth to grow in properly and keep your jaws strong even at a young age.
Why Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?
We aren’t born with a single set of teeth because our jaws cannot make space for a full set of adult teeth when we’re still growing. Baby teeth are critical placeholders as our adult teeth form under our gums and our jaws grow large enough to accommodate those teeth. Once those teeth are ready to grow in, we begin to shed our baby teeth (and expect plenty of visits from the tooth fairy, of course!).
Do I Need to Care for Baby Teeth?
Absolutely! When baby teeth are prematurely removed—say, due to decay—the adult teeth won’t grow in properly and will actually crowd the mouth. This will inevitably lead to more extensive orthodontic procedures in the future. Teach your children how to properly care for their baby teeth so these temporary, but essential, teeth can do their job in being good placeholders for adult teeth.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Checkup!
In addition to making sure your kids maintain a magnificent oral hygiene routine at home, it is important to bring them to our office every six months to make sure that their teeth and gums are healthy and developing properly. Today’s Dental prides itself on being able to make our young patients feel at ease during their dental cleanings and offers fun and comforting amenities. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!