The Importance of Healthy Primary Teeth

The Importance of Healthy Primary Teeth

Healthy baby (primary) teeth help children chew and digest their food, and are one of the most important parts of their oral development as they grow up.

What are primary teeth?

In a lifetime, humans grow two sets of teeth. Primary teeth are the first set to develop, around the time children are a year old.

Why do we have primary teeth?

First of all, primary teeth allow children to chew their food efficiently. This allows their bodies better digest food absorb nutrients.

They also function as placeholders or guides for the permanent teeth as they erupt, helping them grow into the proper positions in the jaw.

Why do primary teeth matter in orthodontics?

Primary teeth guide the erupting permanent teeth into their proper positions. This means that when they fall out early as a result of decay or other damage, the permanent teeth may erupt in the wrong positions. This can mean orthodontic treatment may be needed in the future to correct the misalignment.

Preventing Early Loss of Primary Teeth

Oral hygiene is your number one ally in decay prevention. Brush and floss your child's baby teeth regularly so that decay doesn’t develop (which is a primary cause of tooth loss in children), and visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups.

For children who play sports, consider getting a mouth guard to help prevent the primary teeth from sustaining any damage from impact during games.

What if my child looses a primary tooth too early?

If your child does lose a primary tooth prematurely, preserving the space is very important, so visit an orthodontist for a consultation and exam as soon as possible. The orthodontist may prescribe a space maintainer, a dental appliance that "maintains" the space left by the missing tooth until the adult teeth to erupt.

The orthodontist can also provide insight and guidance on oral health care, such as demonstrating more effective cleaning techniques to keep any more teeth from falling out.

If you have questions about your child’s primary teeth and their impact on orthodontics, please feel free to contact our maple Ridge orthodontist's office at his office in either Surrey or Langley for a consultation!

Book your first orthodontic consultation today at myOrthodontist Maple Ridge.