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Why are baby teeth important?

Dr. Rubin and Dr. Sentelle take a few minutes to answer questions about baby teeth:

"Why is it important to keep baby teeth healthy and cavity-free?"

They’re just baby teeth… they don’t really matter, do they?

According to Dr. Sentelle, the answer is “YES”! Kids can get cavities, even in baby teeth, which can lead to infections. A bacterial infection in the tooth that gets into the head or neck area, or in the jaw area, can unfortunately spread if it’s not treated appropriately. Serious infections like this can put your child in a lot of danger!

Think it sounds far fetched? Not so! Every year this happens, in kids as young as two- and three-years-old, so we need to be careful and watch for issues like that.

Another thing you may not realize, teeth are really important for a child’s growth. As they grow, their jaws are growing too, and all those teeth send signals to the jaw. The adult teeth are developing right below the baby teeth. They’re sending signals to the jaw bone to grow appropriately and sending signals to their adult teeth to develop properly. So if your child looses a tooth prematurely, or gets an infection, it causes issues down the road with growth and development.

Parents often think, “they’re just baby teeth… they don’t really matter, do they?” says Dr. Rubin.

But for all the reasons Dr. Sentelle outlined above, we highly recommend parents bring their kids in for their first dental visit by age one! This way we can give you all the information you’ll need to help lower chances of your kids getting cavities, plus it’s a lot less expensive and easier to treat. The bottom line is kids enjoy going to the dentist much more if they have positive experiences early on, and aren’t worried about cavities and fillings.

At Frisco Kid’s Dentistry, we believe Prevention is Key!

How primary teeth help a child's development

  • Speech Development: Have you ever heard a child with two missing front teeth speak? If so, then you know how greatly the presence of an individual’s teeth contributes to their ability to speak. The same goes for properly aligned teeth. Even for babies, having healthy, well spaced, and reasonably aligned teeth greatly contribute to the ability to form words and speak clearly.
  • Proper Chewing and Eating: A baby’s teeth are of huge importance regarding health and wellness. Digestion of many foods begins in the mouth! The process of chewing helps to break food down into digestible sizes. If your child has pain in his or her mouth because of cavities, sores, loose teeth or sore gums, they may only choose to eat foods, which are of the least disturbance to their mouth, possibly eliminating many healthy foods from the diet. A child whose diet consists of a great variety of textures of foods gets stimulation and exercise for the gums and cleansing action for the teeth.
  • Development of Muscles and Jaw Bones: Sucking and chewing provide the opportunity to exercise a baby’s facial, tongue and jaw muscles. Without well-developed jaw muscles, there is a possibility the jawbones will not form properly. Providing a variety of textures in food, as mentioned above, will provide a great opportunity for developing strong muscles and jaws.

A good diet is essential for healthy teeth

Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Almost all foods, including milk or vegetables, have some type of sugar, which can contribute to tooth decay. Be sure to read our blog and watch the doctors’ video on Snacks and Drinks that are Harmful to Kid’s Teeth >

Tips to help control sugar your child’s diet:

  • Review food labels and choose foods and drinks that have low or no added sugars.
  • Drink plenty of water, not only to hydrate but to also rinse bacteria from the mouth.
  • Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Limit the number of sweet snacks your child eats between meals.

Got more questions? We're here to help!

With proper brushing, flossing, and nutrition, baby teeth can pave the way for healthy permanent teeth that will last a lifetime! If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, or want to make an appointment for your child’s routine dental cleaning and checkup, please Call (214) 618-5200 during our office hours and our team will be happy to answer questions, schedule an office tour, or book an appointment.

👉 Before you arrive for an appointment, please read our New Office Procedures and complete our COVID-19 Screening Form. Also review these procedures with your child(ren), so they are prepared too.

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