Many people have a misconception that baby teeth aren’t important, as they will fall out and get replaced. In fact, dentists say there are several reasons baby teeth are just as essential as their permanent counterparts. Four Corners Dental Group, with locations in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK, is a leading pediatric dentistry practice. Here, their staff explains four reasons baby teeth matter.
4 Reasons Baby Teeth Are Important
1. Saving Space for Permanent Teeth
Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. When they’re lost prematurely, new ones move into the space. This can cause overcrowding or crooked permanent teeth, necessitating expensive orthodontic care to fix.
2. Healthy Growth
Early childhood is a significant period of physical, emotional, and psychological development. A child’s environment and care during this period can affect them for their lifetime. To start them on the track to lifelong health, provide kids with a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Without a set of healthy baby teeth, they may not be able to chew whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. Early childhood is also the ideal time to instill good hygiene habits. If it’s difficult to get your child to brush their teeth, incorporate fun into the routine with colorful toothbrushes or a toothbrushing song playlist.
3. Speech Development
Baby teeth are also integral to speech development. As children learn to speak, they need to have a full set of baby teeth to form words correctly. Losing one or several primary teeth too early can lead to speech impediments.
4. Identifying & Addressing Risks
Some children are predisposed to specific oral health issues. During the initial visit, your pediatric dentist will identify risk factors and develop a plan to prevent problems. Preventative treatment methods include fluoride varnish and treating small cavities or soft spots before they become severe. Also, your dentist will teach you how to brush and care for your child’s teeth properly. Identifying problems early on can significantly decrease the pain and expenses associated with significant dental issues down the road.
To provide your child with the best possible oral health care, schedule their first dentist appointment before their first birthday. If you’re an Alaska resident, trust the family dentistry team at Four Corners Dental Group. These versatile and compassionate professionals offer a broad range of services, from routine to emergency care. Call (907) 258-3384 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more about what they have to offer.