The Importance of Baby Teeth

Just because your child's primary teeth, often known as “baby teeth,” eventually fall out, doesn't mean they're not important. Primary teeth play an important role in your child's overall health, development, and well-being.

Much like your own permanent teeth, your child's primary teeth require professional and at-home dental care. Decay can happen at any age, so it's time to visit the dentist within six months of your child's first tooth appearing, and certainly by age one. In addition to checking for tooth decay and other pediatric dental problems, your dentist will show you the best ways to start your child on a lifetime of good oral health habits.

What is the purpose of primary teeth?

Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they're three years old. Primary teeth are important for many reasons. They:

  • Promote good nutrition through proper chewing
  • Assist in speech development
  • Build self-esteem by providing a beautiful smile
  • Enable the child to pay attention and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain
  • Provide a path for permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt

What happens if baby teeth aren't taken care of?

Primary teeth can get cavities just like adult teeth. In addition to the pain caused by a cavity, young children can develop dental infections. Primary tooth decay is a serious, infectious, and transmissible disease that can spread quickly and lead to infection or abscess without proper precautions. This can be especially harmful to children because their immune systems aren't fully developed.

If a tooth becomes infected and needs to be extracted, you dentist will recommend inserting a space maintainer. If the space is not preserved, other teeth may drift, causing difficult-to-treat crowding and orthodontic problems when permanent teeth come in.

The most important aspect of taking care of your child's primary teeth is the example you help to set. Early on, your child should develop the habit of brushing and flossing that will carry into adulthood. Healthy teeth also lead to easier dental visits, teaching your child that there is nothing to be afraid of at the dentist.

Patient Testimonials
“Wonderful staff who are extremely nice and patient with my twins! I would recommend Rolling Hills Dentistry to all families with kids! Always great service no matter what type of dental needs my kids have!” ~ Karen J. “Hands down the best pediatric dentistry I have ever taken my kids to. The dental assistant made the experience fun for my daughter and took the time to explain everything she did and every tool she used..” ~ Ali B. “Absolutely LOVE Rolling Hills Pediatric Dentistry. They do an excellent job of putting the kids at ease, talking to them about the procedure, showing them what will be done as well any and all instruments that will be used. They never proceed until the child AND the parent is comfortable and always talk TO the child, not AT the child. I HIGHLY recommend Rolling Hills Pediatric Dentistry.” ~ Maria K.