Even though all of your baby’s teeth will fall out eventually, they are still extremely important. Many new parents fail to realize just how important these temporary pearly whites are because they realize that they’ll only be around for a few years. However, proper care is essential, because those teeth will set the precedent for your child’s lifelong oral health. Baby teeth are about more than a child’s tooth fairy fund. As soon as you see those first few teeth emerge, it’s time to talk to your baby’s pediatrician about proper care.

First, your baby’s teeth will allow him or her to develop the ability to talk. Most of us forget how important teeth are to many of the sounds common to the English language. If you try to read this aloud without touching your teeth, you’ll have a great deal of trouble. Making sure your baby’s teeth are properly developed before they fall out will allow your child to develop the speech patterns that will exist well into adulthood.

Next, your baby’s teeth serve as a placeholder for the incoming adult teeth. When your baby’s jaw and face muscles grow, they are actually forming around the baby teeth. If the baby teeth weren’t there, the jaw would become misaligned, and the adult teeth would have no room to develop. When your baby’s teeth are in the proper position, the adult teeth will follow suit.

Finally, your child’s baby teeth aid in his or her ability to digest food and achieve healthy nutrition. Without healthy teeth, your child wouldn’t be able to chew the food he or she needs before the age of ten when most of the adult teeth finally have emerged.

It’s true that your baby’s first few teeth won’t last forever. However, that shouldn’t affect your insistence on proper hygiene and care. You should take your baby to the dentist for the first time by the time he or she is one year old. By then, teeth will have started to emerge, and your baby’s dentist will be able to diagnose any early problems as soon as possible. If your baby’s teeth aren’t growing properly or are not aligned in the right way, your child’s dentist might recommend correction such as braces so that the teeth can still serve their purpose. Baby teeth are temporary but extremely important, so make sure you care for your baby’s mouth.

Source: Kotch, Jonathan: Maternal and Child Health. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning Publications. Print.

Keyword Tags: