Baby (Primary) teeth are critical to your child’s health and development. They assist in the development of permanent teeth by saving space for them in the jaw. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they need to come in.
Teeth are needed for chewing. Dental pain from cavities can lead to nutritional deficiencies if the child is not able to properly chew their food. If cavities are left untreated, there is risk of infection. This infection can spread to other areas of the body and even to the brain. This can become a true emergency rapidly. Unfortunately, there have been reported cases where children have died from a dental abscess/infection.
The primary teeth assist in speech and facial development. The tongue, lips and cheeks deflect off of teeth when forming sounds. The presence and the proper positioning of baby teeth, assist in the formation of correct pronunciation during speech. The tooth structure also provides support for the developing facial muscles and gives shape to your child’s face.
Permanent teeth develop directly above (or below in the lower arch) the roots of the baby teeth. The enamel (outer layer of teeth) on baby teeth is much thinner and cavities can spread very quickly. If cavities are left untreated, the baby tooth can develop an infection which can hinder tooth development and cause damage to the permanent tooth.
Children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss school as a result of tooth pain.
Children with decayed front teeth tend to not smile or may cover their mouth when speaking. Sometimes they stop playing with other children. A healthy smile helps give children the self-confidence needed to have good social experiences.