At the earliest possible time, parents should teach their children good oral hygiene habits. One reason behind this is that forming these habits early in life enables children to perform these automatically when they get older.
Another reason why children should learn good oral hygiene habits while still very young is to protect their baby teeth.
But my kid will lose his baby teeth to be replaced by permanent teeth anyway, you might say. Why are baby teeth important?
There are a few crucial reasons why baby teeth are important and need to be taken care of.
Baby teeth play a key role in the digestion process
With the aid of baby teeth, a child can chew his food more thoroughly, allowing him to get the most out of his food.
Baby teeth help in the development of the necessary speech skills
Through the practice of good oral hygiene habits, your child can avoid problems like dental pain which can undermine his performance in school. Also, if your child has a bright and healthy smile, he can develop his self-confidence.
Space can be saved for permanent teeth.
Your child’s baby teeth hold the space in his jaws. This space is necessary for the proper development of his permanent teeth.
In an ideal scenario, your child’s baby teeth will stay in his mouth until his permanent teeth are ready to emerge. Until then, the permanent teeth stay beneath the gums. When the permanent teeth are about to erupt, the roots of the baby teeth will either break down or disintegrate. The baby teeth will then begin to become loose and eventually fall out. After that, the permanent teeth will emerge in a few weeks.
However, your child’s baby teeth may fall out earlier, get knocked out by accident, or need to be extracted due to dental problems. When any of these happen, the proper development of his permanent teeth can be compromised and this can lead to problems like misalignment and overcrowding of teeth. In order to prevent these problems, your child’s dentist will recommend the use of space maintainers.
Space maintainers are used to surround a permanent tooth and the space that needs to be retained. This prevents the other teeth on your child’s mouth from moving into the empty space left by a baby tooth that has been knocked out or extracted.
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