Baby teeth are just as important to babies and children as permanent teeth are to older children and adults. These first teeth are necessary for a child to chew and talk. But baby teeth serve another very important purpose: they save space for the child's future permanent teeth. Baby teeth are very important to your child's health and development.
They help you chew, talk and smile. They also keep space in the jaws for permanent teeth that grow under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth can move into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find space when they come out. This can cause teeth to be crooked or crowded together.
That's why starting babies with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades. If your child loses a baby tooth too soon due to tooth decay and lack of care or trauma, the permanent tooth that emerges may be misaligned, making it difficult for the rest of the teeth in that area to align properly; this could cause bite problems. Teeth can twist or crowd together. Your child may need braces as he or she grows to correct problems that result from missing a baby tooth.
Because they are placeholders for adult teeth, baby teeth are essential to helping the mouth grow properly. They stretch gums and jaws at a natural pace and leave room for adult teeth. According to the American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy online magazine, adult teeth can take up space left by a baby tooth that was lost early. This can cause crooked teeth when all adult teeth come out.