How important are baby teeth and what should you do when accidents happen? If your child’s teeth are knocked out before they fall out naturally, there are steps that you should take to preserve both the health of their smile, but also their speech development and more. Read on to learn more!
Before his teenage years, your child will lose all of his 20 baby teeth, but those 20 baby (primary) teeth play an important role in how those 32 permanent teeth come in.
Baby teeth serve as spacers until the permanent teeth are ready to come in. If decay or injury causes them to fall out prematurely, other teeth can come in crooked and trigger overcrowding issues. Baby teeth can pass bacteria to permanent teeth even before they make it through the surface so safeguarding their health is crucial! This decay can also spread via gum tissue and saliva causing other health consequences as well.
Baby teeth help your child chew his/her food thoroughly so food can be processed effectively (and safely). Teeth are made of the hardest substance in the human body – enamel. They tear, cut and grind food so it can be swallowed properly.
Chewing also allows enzymes and lubricants to be released for the digestion process. Different teeth have different functions in the process of chewing. Incisors cut foods when chewing them and the sharper and longer canines tear food.
Food is mashed with the premolars while the tongue moves the food up to our teeth. Without baby teeth in place, the proper chewing, digestion and, ultimately, absorption of nutrients is affected.
Speech sounds coordinate your child’s mouth structures and muscles. Lips, teeth, the tongue, cheeks and vocal tract all take part in speech production. When a tooth is eliminated from the speech production procss, speech results can be affected.
Smiles that are missing teeth before they should can make a child feel different, out of place. Children who lose teeth prematurely due to poor oral hygiene or injury suffer unnecessarily. Our Premier Dentistry of Eagle team educate parents on their child’s teeth so they can remain cavity-free and in place as long as they can.
Baby teeth protect gum tissue from damage that can occur when chewing food. Exposed gum tissue from teeth that have fallen out too soon makes the gums more prone to infection and problems and also puts the permanent teeth, below the gums, at more risk for development problems.
Sometimes parents will ask their dentist to remove a baby tooth that is barely hanging on to avoid choking or swallowing issues. If a baby tooth isn’t significantly loose, we prefer not to pull the tooth unless we can confirm on x-ray that there is an adult tooth ready to erupt right behind it. However, if there is a choking hazard present, the tooth must be pulled.
The primary teeth help the permanent teeth come through in their normal positions. They act as a type of spacer until the permanent teeth are ready. Primary, or baby teeth, hold the space in the jaws needed for the correct development of the permanent, adult teeth.
Under healthy, accident-free conditions, a baby tooth will remain in your child’s mouth until the permanent tooth underneath it is almost through the gum surface. The roots of the baby tooth disintegrate when a permanent tooth is ready to erupt allowing the baby tooth to loosen and fall out.
When a baby tooth is lost before the permanent tooth was ready it can cause spatial problems for adult teeth. Sometimes it is necessary for a dentist (or orthodontist) to use a dental space maintainer device to fill the place of the primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge.
If an accident strikes your litte one this year, don’t delay, contact Premier Dentistry of Eagle today for an injury consultation. When it comes to developing smiles, you don’t want to take any chances. Call us at (208) 546-0655!