How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, don’t worry about cavities! They are just baby teeth. They’ll fall out, and then the real one will come in to replace”.
To learn more about baby teeth (also known as primary teeth, or milk teeth), let's have a look at their life cycle. The first primary tooth erupts at the age of 6 months old. At the age of 3 years old, all primary teeth will present in your kid’s mouth. Typically, they will last for a period of time on the arch of the jaw until completely be replaced by permanent teeth at around 11-12 years old.
During their life cycle (6-9 years), the primary teeth play some important roles:
- Mastication: the teeth tear, cut, and grind food in preparation for swallowing. With primary teeth, your child could slowly shift their diet from milk or soft food to harder food.
- Speech: Teeth are essential for speech. With the lips and tongue, teeth help forming words by controlling airflow out of the mouth. The tongue strikes the teeth or the roof of the mouth as some sounds are made.
- Space maintainer: Primary teeth stay in their position and keep the space for permanent teeth to erupt into the right position.
- Esthetic: Primary teeth affect the appearance of your child before the age of 12.
By understanding the importance of primary teeth, we should not leave them to get decayed or damaged before the replacement time. So, what could you do for your child during this time?
First of all, you could support your child in cleaning their teeth at home to keep them clean and healthy. Then, you could take your child to a dental clinic to see the dentist. What should be expected during a visit with dentist?
- In the first appointment, maybe its just some talking with the dentist. It help your child to get accquainted and feel comfortable with the clinic environment, also with the doctor.
- Get instructions from the dentist on how to your child clean their teeth properly at home. The dentists also encourage your child in protecting their teeth by explaining why the primary teeth are important.
- Treat any decayed tooth at the early stage to protect them, avoid extracting the primary tooth.
These works are necessary if you want a beautiful smile for your child!