Your child’s primary teeth (commonly called “baby teeth”) are pretty interesting, and we’re not just saying that because we’re pediatric dentists. In most mouths, there are 20 primary teeth in total. They are already present in your child’s jaw at the time of birth and they will usually begin to appear between the ages of 6-12 months.
Usually referred to as teething, this process can be an important and exciting stage in you and your child’s life. We probably all have at least one story of a lost baby tooth. However, despite their cultural significance, many fail to see the health-related importance of these teeth. One question we get quite frequently is, “If my child’s baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway, is it even worth taking care of them?”
While it may seem like caring for your child’s baby teeth isn’t all that important, nothing could be further from the truth. Called “Nature’s Braces” by some dentists, baby teeth are incredibly important to a child’s overall health and development.
When baby teeth are lost too early, due to decay or some other factor, the gaps left behind can cause major issues in the development of your child’s permanent teeth. As permanent teeth start to come in, they can drift into the empty space left behind by a missing primary tooth, making it difficult for other teeth to come in straight. The end result is often a crooked and misaligned smile that requires expensive orthodontic care in the future.
Additionally, baby teeth are necessary to help your child in everything from chewing and speaking to smiling with confidence.
Primary teeth are important to more than just the tooth fairy and are critical to your child’s development. To make sure they stay healthy and do their job, help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day and participate in all the other aspects of a great oral hygiene routine.
As a part of that routine, make sure that you continue to schedule regular dental appointments for your child at our pediatric dental office. We are specialists in providing excellent, kid-focused dental care in a warm and welcoming environment. Contact our pediatric dental team to set up your next appointment today.
Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003