Why take care of your baby’s milk teeth?

Written by Dr. Apurva Chavan

October 29, 2020

All parents want their babies to have excellent oral hygiene but do not know how to achieve it. Primary teeth or milk teeth are often considered to be ‘trial’ teeth.

Parents don’t pay proper attention to their baby’s milk teeth for various reasons, but the most common reason is – ‘they will eventually fall and get replaced by new ones.’ But this thinking is absolutely wrong.

Each and every part of our body is made for a reason. Milk teeth play a very important role in not just oral functions but the entire development and well-being of your child. Here is how milk teeth effect your baby’s future –

They’re natural space holders

Milk teeth hold spaces for their permanent counter parts. Each and every tooth plays a very important part in shaping your child’s jaw. Decay or loss of even one of them, before the permanent one erupts, compromises the positioning of all the teeth. This changes your child’s face shape and muscle harmony. Such kids often require years of braces treatment to realign their teeth and restore their facial harmony.

Milk teeth for better development

Parents often ignore cavities in milk teeth. If your child has decayed teeth, they will not be able to chew their food properly. Poor chewing will lead to poor digestion. So even if you give your baby, the best foods, they will not be able to absorb nutrients properly. This will lead to your baby being underweight and have a slow physical development.

Important for better speech

Communication is already difficult for children. They are still learning to talk properly. Decayed/missing teeth will not allow them to speak nor learn new words correctly. This makes appropriate speech learning and understanding slow. Besides, it also becomes difficult for people around them to understand what they are trying to say. This leads to slow verbal communication development.

Milk teeth are important for shaping your baby’s personality

Kids have become very tech-savvy and love taking and sharing photographs. Decayed teeth, especially the front teeth are easily visible. A lot of kids feel self-conscious on seeing pictures of themselves with broken or missing teeth. It affects their self-confidence, especially if other kids make fun of them. This might hamper their personality development and social skills.

Milk teeth are important for future oral health

Milk teeth have thinner enamel and get decayed easily. Decayed teeth give pain and don’t let the child concentrate on anything properly. It is worse if they have multiple decayed teeth or conditions like early childhood caries.

Ignoring such teeth, causes the child to suffers through the pain and grow up to have extreme aversion and fear towards dental procedures. They automatically associate oral health with pain and become victims of dental phobia. This leads to poor oral health even in adulthood.

Childhood is a wonderful time, when kids learn something new about the world every single day. Decayed teeth gives your child pain which doesn’t allow them to eat, sleep or even talk and hamper their learning. So start early. Brush their teeth with infant brushes till they can brush on their own. Teach your kids to brush and make it fun for them. Get colorful oral supplies and brush with them to instill good oral hygiene habits.

Do not wait till they develop cavities, remember prevention is better than cure. So every 6 months take your child to the dentist for a complete oral check-up to make sure your baby’s teeth are healthy.

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Dr. Apurva Chavan is a dentist by the day and a voracious reader and writer by the night. She loves to fix smiles and tries to keep all her procedures as pain free as possible. Equipped with over 5 years of experience she loves to not just treat her patients but also educate them about dental hygiene and appropriate maintanence routines. After a long day of preserving smiles she loves to curl up with a good book or pen down some of life’s musings. She strongly belives that learning never stops and likes to keep her self updates with all the latest dental news and research.
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