As a paediatric dentist, the most common question that I am asked is, “Do baby teeth really require dental treatment?”
Yes, it is true that primary (baby) teeth are temporary and eventually fall off, but they serve a variety of important functions in the mouth. The last baby tooth sheds around 10–12 years of age. This is a long time, making it imperative to preserve these baby teeth in a healthy state as they form the foundation for the health of permanent teeth.
By helping with biting and chewing, baby teeth make sure your child receives proper nutrition for optimal growth and development. Various studies have reported that children with multiple decayed teeth have decreased haemoglobin values.
They maintain the space required for the eruption of their successive permanent teeth. In cases of premature loss of primary teeth, especially primary molars, the adjacent teeth tip into the empty space, resulting in space loss and malalignment of the permanent teeth, warranting future orthodontic treatment (braces).
As permanent teeth develop in the bone very close to the baby teeth, infection of the baby teeth, if left untreated, can progress to infect the bone as well. This creates an unfavourable environment for the development of permanent teeth, leading to unfavourable changes in their physical and chemical composition.
Baby teeth act as a stimulus for the development of jaw bones and muscles.
They help in the proper development of speech. Sounds from alphabets like t, d, n, and l are made with the help of teeth.
A smile with healthy and well-aligned teeth boosts your child’s confidence.
Avoiding dental treatment of baby teeth constitutes dental neglect, which increases the disease burden in the future. So do not play down the importance of those precious pearls of your little ones. Make sure you encourage the development of good oral hygiene practises in your child right from the beginning. The establishment of a dental home and biannual visits to your paediatric dentist will go a long way in maintaining both baby and permanent teeth in good health.
For further information or any other dental health-related query, feel free to contact us at +919319212111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.