The first set of teeth arrive in the baby life called “Baby teeth”. Those teeth are important for the development of the baby and children at such young age. They are as important as the permanent teeth to adults.
This first set of teeth is necessary for a child to chew and speak. But baby teeth serve another very important purpose– they hold the space for permanent teeth to grow in straight (preventing crowding and crooked teeth), they also help the face structure develop properly and ensure that young children can eat and receive plenty of nutrition.
A baby tooth usually remains in the child’s mouth until a permanent tooth underneath it is ready to emerge through the gums. This usually take place at the age of 6-7 years. The roots of the baby tooth dissolve and the tooth becomes loose and falls out. The permanent tooth “comes up” a few weeks later. If a child loses a tooth too early–before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt–or if it is accidently knocked out, or is removed by the dentist because of disease, the space must be saved. A space maintainer is inserted to take the place of the “baby tooth” until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge.
The space maintainer is a small metal device that encircles the tooth and the space to be saved. It “holds” the space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, stopping the other teeth from tipping or drifting into the empty space.
It is important to maintain the health of baby teeth!
You should begin “brushing” your children’s teeth even before their first tooth grows in! Just use a soft, wet cloth or bit of gauze to rub their gums to help reduce bacteria and prevent future cavities. Once teeth come in, help get your children in the habit of brushing twice daily with a smear of toothpaste and flossing regularly.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s oral health, give us a call! We love any opportunity to help you, our wonderful patients!
Top image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.