How important are baby teeth?

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Because baby teeth soon give way to the permanent teeth we’ll have for the rest of our lives, it can be tempting to think that baby teeth really aren’t all that important. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Baby teeth serve a variety of purposes.

First and foremost, baby teeth let children enjoy a healthy, nutritious diet. Without them, chewing solid food would be difficult. But with the arrival of baby teeth, children can learn how to properly chew foods that will help them maintain excellent health and wellbeing. After all, the digestion process doesn’t begin in the stomach, it begins in the mouth.

That’s not the only way baby teeth can help, though. Besides helping a child learn how to chew, baby teeth are also important for learning to speak. Certain words can be difficult to pronounce when there aren’t teeth in just the right places. A full set of baby teeth can help your child as he begins to communicate with an advanced vocabulary that goes beyond simple sounds.

Baby teeth also contribute to the health and strength of the jaw and facial muscles. Chewing helps a child exercise these particular muscles, which in turn aids in the development of teeth and promotes good health and appearance.

Beyond all of this, though, there’s yet another purpose that baby teeth serve. It takes time for permanent teeth to become ready. In the meantime, baby teeth reserve a place for them in the mouth and they create a path for them to follow once they’re ready to emerge. When baby teeth are lost too early, it can be more difficult for a permanent tooth to emerge as it should. Nearby teeth may come in where another tooth should, resulting in crowding, misalignment, or other issues.

All of which explains why it’s so important that your child start seeing a pediatric dentist as soon as his first tooth comes in. With visits spaced about four months apart, depending on your child’s needs, our doctors can monitor your little one’s developing smile. If we see that care is needed, we can put together a treatment plan that takes your child’s specific needs into account. Our team has years of training and experience in treating the youngest of patients. That’s part of what sets us apart from a traditional family dentist. Specializing in pediatric dentistry requires years of advanced study beyond the four years required for dental school.

Your child’s first few visits will also give us a chance to talk to you about how you can care for your child’s smile at home. When you make brushing a regular part of her life, you’re doing a lot to help her build habits that will last throughout childhood into adolescence and beyond.

Call Kidtastic today if you have questions about pediatric dentistry or need to reserve an appointment for your little one. To serve our Arizona patients better, we have offices in MesaGilbert and Queen Creek. We have what it takes to help your child develop a healthy smile.