“If my child’s baby teeth are only temporary and will fall out soon, why should I be concerned about them?”
That’s a common question parents ask us at the office Great Smiles Pediatric and Orthodontics. The answer from our pedodontist is: Baby teeth are very important. Those twenty tiny teeth, which parents love to photograph and ooh and ahh over, play a key role in their infant’s health and development. And no one understands the reasons why better than a pedodontist. Why? Because a pedodontist has not only completed a full course of study in dental school, but has then gone on to obtain specialized education and training in pediatric dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.
Here’s why your child’s baby teeth matter: Those tiny teeth help our little ones chew food properly, aid in speech development, and support jaw growth, setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral habits. They hold spaces in the child’s jaw for those thirty-two permanent, adult teeth that are slowly growing under the gums. Properly caring for baby teeth prevents one from falling out too early, which can cause a permanent tooth to appear prematurely. When that occurs, other permanent teeth may not have enough space to grow in correctly, leading to a crowded and crooked smile.
We recommend that your child’s first visit take place after that first baby tooth has appeared, but no later than the first birthday. Besides examining the child for cavities and making sure her or his teeth are being properly cleaned, we are also on the lookout for issues that can occur because of thumb-sucking or other potentially harmful oral habits like excessive teething or pacifier use.
If you have questions about your child’s baby teeth or oral health, our pedodontist at Great Smiles Pediatric and Orthodontics is happy to provide answers — and peace of mind about the child’s first visit. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.