What Parents Need to Know About Baby Teeth

Parents ask me why they should care about baby teeth since they will fall out anyway.

Baby TEETH Artwork by  AUSTEN J.B.

Baby TEETH Artwork by AUSTEN J.B.

Baby teeth are important to your child’s physical, emotional and social development. And, if your child’s baby teeth are not kept healthy, the permanent teeth will be more susceptible to cavities and dental problems forever.

Baby teeth can get cavities. Large cavities and abscesses in baby teeth establish a bacterial petri dish affecting the eruption of permanent teeth.

Baby teeth are placeholders, saving space for properly aligned adult teeth. Permanent teeth develop and grow underneath baby teeth until they’re ready to break through the gums.

You might be surprised to learn that you should start caring for your child’s teeth while they’re still in the womb! My published paper shows that the mother’s diet during pregnancy influences the child’s life-long taste preference for sweets. That preference can lead to poor oral health beginning in infancy.

You can find more information about the importance of baby teeth here.