26 May 2024

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Primary Teeth Matter: Exploring the Lifelong Impact of Baby Teeth
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Health

Primary Teeth Matter: Exploring the Lifelong Impact of Baby Teeth 

You’ve likely witnessed the adorable sight of your six-month-old baby sporting their first tiny pearly whites. These initial teeth, known as primary or baby teeth, start to emerge around the age of 6 to 7 months. However, the notion that “They are just baby teeth and hold no significance!” is nothing but a myth!

Pediatric experts and a dentist in Wilmington, DE, stress the importance of primary teeth and strive to educate parents about their significance. Let’s delve into why primary teeth matter!

A comprehensive guide to primary teeth

Primary teeth, also referred to as baby or milk teeth, commence their development beneath the gums during the second trimester of pregnancy. Around 6 to 9 months after birth, these teeth start to emerge above the gums. By the time children reach preschool age, they typically have a complete set of 20 baby teeth.

The major functions of primary teeth are described below:

  • Proper alignment of primary teeth helps in proper speech and phonetics.
  • Healthy primary teeth promote good chewing habits and facilitate nutritious eating 
  • Children with healthy and pleasing teeth and gums help build a sense of confidence in them and offer positive social interactions 
  • They hold an appropriate space for adult or permanent teeth to erupt 
  • They act as natural placeholders for permanent teeth
  • They impart a healthy, beautifully aligned, and symmetrical smile 

The importance of primary teeth

  • The health and care of your child’s primary teeth is significant for several reasons. Taking care of primary teeth can pave the way for healthy and strong permanent dentition. 
  • Any damage or decay to the primary teeth can compromise oral health, form, and aesthetics. This can lead to poor nutrition and a lack of self-esteem. Furthermore, the infection can spread to the underlying permanent tooth buds damaging them as well. 
  • Extensive tooth decay and gum disease in primary teeth can result in tooth loss, which can hamper the natural space maintained by them for the permanent teeth to erupt in a correct alignment. 

Caring for your child’s primary teeth

As a parent, you must ensure to care for your child’s baby teeth in the following ways:

  • Clean your child’s gums from 3 months of age by rubbing them with moist cotton or gauze
  • Avoid giving the bottle at night for longer periods 
  • Avoid giving your child sugar at least for 1 year after birth
  • Brush the teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush when their primary teeth erupt 
  • Use fluoride toothpastes 
  • Take them to the dentist at least once in 6 months 

Your child’s primary teeth are the cornerstone for the eruption of their permanent teeth in a proper alignment. 

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