5 Reasons Why Baby Teeth Matter

baby smiling with teeth

Some people will tell you that your child’s baby teeth aren’t important, because “they are just going to fall out anyway”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Baby teeth are there for a reason.  They help your child eat, grow, speak, look good, feel good and do well in school.

1. Growth

Kids grow faster during childhood than at any other time in life.  Baby teeth help your child chew properly, eat a well-balanced diet and gain the nutrition needed to grow into adulthood.

When children are in pain because of tooth decay, they can only take limited foods, or they may refuse to eat at all.

This leads to slow growth, moodiness and a lack of energy.

2. Speech

Baby teeth play a key role in speech development.  Without healthy teeth, it’s difficult for your baby to form words and articulate clearly.

For example, think about how a child’s speech changes when he or she is missing a front tooth.

3. Appearance

Baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth to follow and help guide them into the proper position.  If a baby tooth is lost too early, the adjacent teeth can drift into the empty space, causing the permanent teeth to grow in crooked.

As it turns out, 30 percent of orthodontic cases are linked to premature loss of baby teeth.

4. School

Kids who suffer from dental pain are much more likely to miss school and have lower grades than their peers.

Numerous studies have shown a direct link between children’s dental health and performance in school.

5. Emotional Well-Being

Finally, unattractive or missing baby teeth can lead to emotional issues such as shyness, low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.

So make no mistake, baby teeth matter — for five, ten years or longer.  Every single one is important.

In my next article, I’ll share baby teeth tips for your child’s first year.

Dr. Ryan Roberts is a board-certified pediatric dentist at On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry. For more information, call 918.819.2348 or visit onthecuspdds.com.

Categories: Little Ones