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Why Baby Teeth Matter
The very first baby teeth begin to erupt around the age of 6 months. Some babies get their first teeth earlier; others get them later. Once the baby teeth begin to erupt, the rest gradually follows. Children develop a total of 20 baby teeth, which are typically all in by the age of 3. Baby teeth are only temporary and begin to fall out around the age of 5 or 6, replaced with the permanent adult teeth. Because they are temporary, this often leads parents to believe that they are not that important. The truth, however, is that the baby teeth are quite important, and need to be properly cared for until they fall out. Sunnyside Dentistry is here to help.
Functions of Baby Teeth
Even though the baby teeth are only temporary, they have many essential responsibilities. These functions include:
Causes of Early Loss of Baby Teeth
The baby teeth typically start falling out on their own around the age of 6 or 7. At this time, the adult teeth below begin to erupt through the gums. However, there are many different issues that can cause your child to lose their baby teeth too early. These issues include:
Issues Caused by Early Tooth Loss
When your child suffers early tooth loss, there are many issues that can develop. One of the biggest issues is that the surrounding teeth can begin to shift out of alignment and into the empty space. If this happens, the path of the adult tooth underneath becomes blocked. Your child may be faced with issues such as overcrowding, crooked teeth, and poor positioning. These alignment issues can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Untreated cavities in baby teeth can also cause serious issues, including infections in the baby tooth as well as developing teeth underneath.
What Happens if My Child Loses a Baby Tooth Too Early?
In the event of early tooth loss, we can help. In many cases, a space maintainer may be recommended. This is an appliance similar to an orthodontic device that is designed to hold the space left behind by the missing baby tooth. It aids in keeping the adjacent teeth in proper alignment, preventing those teeth from shifting into the empty space so that the adult tooth underneath and erupt properly.
While only temporary, the baby teeth play many important roles in the mouth of your child. Helping your child to take proper care of their baby teeth is essential for ensuring that they remain in place and healthy until the adult teeth developing underneath are ready to come in. Call Sunnyside Dentistry today at (503) 451-5104 for more information.