The tooth fairy is coming! Losing baby teeth is exciting. But why do we lose them and get new adult teeth? The rest of our body just gets bigger as we age, why do our teeth not grow? And do baby teeth even matter? Baby teeth can be confusing. After all, they are the only part of our body that falls off and grows back. So it is natural to have some questions about them.
So, do baby teeth matter? Of course they do! Please do not skimp on care and treatment of baby teeth. Healthy habits start from the very beginning and that includes taking care of things that are not permanent, like baby teeth. Humans do not grow just one set of teeth because when we are young, our mouths are not big enough to fit all of the teeth that adults need. As we grow bigger, we need bigger and more powerful teeth to chew up enough food to keep us energized. Baby teeth just don’t do the job for adult bodies. Unfortunately, baby teeth do not have the ability to grow bigger and become the adult teeth that we need later.
Baby teeth start coming in just in time for when we need them. When we are finally able to start chewing food they are there and ready for tiny bites. Children are constantly growing, even under their baby teeth. Permanent teeth start forming right beneath the gums and start pushing baby teeth out of the way around the age of 6.
So does it matter if baby teeth get cavities? They’re just going to fall out anyways. The answer is yes! Cavities are formed because the tooth is decaying. Not only are cavities painful, they can cause disruption in the mouth that result in the adult teeth coming in incorrectly. Damaged baby teeth have the ability to damage the whole jaw structure and also forming words and learning how to speak properly.
Cavities in baby teeth are mostly caused by overexposure to sugar. Too much sugar in the diet welcomes bacteria and creates plaque which collects on the tooth and eats away at it. Sugary juice or sodas, candy, and even milk are awful for teeth of all ages. Children are more likely to indulge in the sweet stuff, especially candy. That puts children at a higher risk for cavities. The pain that comes along with cavities can disrupt sleep, what your child eats, and their entire ability to grow to their fullest potential. Oral health also has a direct correlation with overall health and cavities can harvest bacteria in the mouth that can spread throughout the entire body.
Taking proper care of baby teeth not only keeps mouths healthy and happy, it promotes healthy habits as well. Brushing and flossing from the very beginning helps children understand that oral health and taking care of teeth is important. That goes for baby teeth as well as permanent teeth.
It is also extremely important that parents support children seeing a dentist even when they have baby teeth. The care of the baby teeth should not be neglected just because they are not permanent. Experience with the dentist early on creates a positive mindset about getting regular check ups and makes it easier as the child grows older.
Baby teeth matter just as much as permanent teeth and it is important that they are given the care that they need. Here are some more facts you may have not known about baby teeth:
-Babies are born with all 20 baby teeth inside the jaw ready to come up
-Baby teeth can get braces if it is necessary
-Every child has 4 types of teeth: canines, incisors, premolars, molars
-2 out of every 10 kids younger than 11 grind their teeth
-About 15% of kids suck their thumbs past the age of five
-Chewing on well-formed teeth helps the jaws grow and develop properly
-Drooling is good for baby’s teething process