Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

At my North Vancouver dental practice, I get asked a lot from parents why their children’s baby teeth are important.  Parents commonly ask me if it’s critical to keep them clean by brushing daily?

The answer is a big YES!

Baby teeth are so important to your child’s oral and overall health. Here are 4 reasons why:

  1. They give your child a beautiful SMILE!
    Having healthy teeth is essential for a beautiful smile. Cavities in baby teeth show up as yellow, chalky-white, or brown spots. Eventually the cavities create holes in the baby teeth. This can lower your child’s self-esteem. The discomfort, sensitivity and pain associated with having a mouth filled with cavities, will prevent your child from smiling and showing off their teeth. Make brushing fun by explaining to your child that having healthy teeth is important for smiling, and being healthy.
  2. We need healthy teeth to EAT without pain!
    Healthy teeth, free of cavities, will allow your child to eat and speak without discomfort. This is critical for healthy development and quality of life. Having a healthy diet promotes healthy mental development, and permits learning and growth.
  3. Avoid dental sedation!
    Severe tooth decay is the leading reason Canadian preschoolers have day surgery each year. This puts thousands of children between the ages of 1 and 5 under general anesthesia each year.  In order to reduce dental trauma to the child, general sedation is used to complete the dental work while the child is asleep. This procedure affects the parents as well. There is typically worry, concerns about the financial obligation, and feelings of guilt about the child’s oral health.
  4. Baby teeth keep the space for the permanent teeth
    Baby teeth serve the important function of holding space for the larger permanent teeth. Permanent teeth start to make an appearance usually between the ages of 6 and 7. However, baby canines and molars are still around until after the age of 10.

Cavities in baby teeth will actually cause a reduction in space for the permanent teeth. The cavities cause holes in teeth, and the baby teeth drift to close this space. Permanent teeth then have less space to erupt, causing crowding and eruption challenges.

Avoid cavities in your children’s teeth, by brushing twice-daily and visiting your North Vancouver dentist regularly for check-ups. We recommend seeing your dentist every 6 months. Our North Vancouver practice is presently accepting new patients. We look forward to seeing you at your future appointments.