While baby (primary) teeth eventually fall out and are replaced with adult teeth, they play an essential role in children’s healthy oral development. Here, our Calgary dentists discuss the importance of healthy primary teeth.
Primary teeth contribute to the following areas of your child’s development:
Speech Development & Enunciation
As your child learns to speak, their teeth, mouth and lips all work together to form words. Your child will learn to make certain sounds when their tongue moves against their primary teeth in different ways.
Eating & Digestion
Healthy primary teeth allow your child to chew their food properly. This helps aid in digestion, and in the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. In turn, proper digestion helps your child grow into a strong, healthy adult.
Primary teeth prevent the tongue from posturing abnormally in the mouth, helping to prevent tongue thrusting as your child gets older.
In addition, baby teeth help guide the adult teeth as they grow. If the baby teeth fall out prematurely, the surrounding teeth may shift out of their proper positions, causing the erupting adult teeth to follow suit. This can lead to misalignments, and the need for orthodontic treatment later on in life.
What can I do if my child loses their primary teeth too early?
With proper dental hygiene, your child’s primary teeth will fall out only when they’re supposed to.
However, if you child loses primary teeth too early, the dentist may prescribe a space maintainer to help keep the surrounding teeth in their proper positions.
A space maintainer is a dental appliance that is custom made to fit the patient's mouth. Its purpose is to preserve the space left by the missing primary tooth, in order to allow the permanent tooth to erupt into the correct position.