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“Baby teeth” are as important to infants and children as permanent teeth are to older children and adults. Children’s teeth actually start to form before birth! The first primary (”baby” or “milk”) tooth can appear in an infant as young as 6 months.

Why are Milk teeth important?

As primary teeth fall out, it is a common misconception that they do not matter. The primary teeth have a number of important roles:

  • Milk teeth set the base for permanent teeth.
  • Milk teeth are used for chewing, biting & grinding as a result, they have nutritional values attached.
  • Milk teeth are the first set of teeth in a child and they are also responsible for clear pronunciation and speech.
  • Along with pronunciations they also look into the development of the jaw bones and muscles
  • They create spaces for permanent teeth to erupt along with the posture for the same
  • Milk teeth have aesthetic concerns attach. It helps your child to look confident and comfortable.

What would happen if milk teeth are not taken care of?

We already studied as to why milk teeth are important for a child. If not taken care of these can cause decay and disease. The disease and decay not only causes discomfort and pain but if not treated in time can also pass on to the permanent teeth when they start erupting. Another interesting fact is that the primary teeth or molars stays in the mouth for around 10 to 12 years of age as a result this has greater chances of spreading the disease (if any) to permanent teeth. This will eventually lead to spread of decay or disease to the subsequent tooth as well and if it spreads to root, it can cause infection resulting in no eruption of permanent teeth or damage of permanent tooth lying directly underneath.

A baby tooth usually remains in the child’s mouth until a permanent tooth underneath it is being prepared to erupt by gums. The roots of the baby tooth dissolve and the tooth becomes loose and falls out. The permanent tooth “comes up” a few weeks later.

If a child loses a tooth too early–before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt–or if it is accidentally knocked out, or is removed by the dentist because of disease, space must be saved. This is because there are chances that the teeth beside the lost primary tooth will move and fill the empty space. The spaced out tooth can either lead to the wrong eruption of permanent teeth or can also result in no eruption at all, that is, it may remain impacted in the gums. Oral hygiene of your child is poorly affected if one has crowded teeth. Crowded teeth are difficult to clean, have greater chances of becoming diseased, and later might require expensive and time-consuming orthodontic treatment. Impacted teeth require surgical intervention in the gums to expose them.

How to preserve the space if milk teeth are lost prematurely?

A space maintainer is required to preserve the space and is inserted to take the place of the “baby tooth” until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge. The space maintainer is a small metal device that encircles the tooth and the space to be saved. It “holds” space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, stopping the other teeth from tipping or drifting into the empty space.

Why a Pediatric Dentist?

The way we have trained specialist for all other diseases we have specialists in the field of dentistry as well. Pediatric Dentist is specially trained and is uniquely qualified to meet the dental needs of a child. Using the most advanced techniques, they take care of every minute needs a child posses in the field of dentistry. Along with 4 years of dental study, they have to undergo two to three years of training at university with pediatric faculty. They are trained to make the children feel comfortable as they are taught the behavioral aspects of children. They know how to make your child’s experience pleasant.

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