I often hear the question, “Why go through all the work of saving baby teeth? They are going to fall out anyway!”
It’s a good question, actually. Baby teeth, technically called primary teeth, start to come into the mouth at around six months of age and are obviously not meant to last a lifetime. So why put energy in saving them if your youngster has a cavity or two? The most basic reason is that the teeth will help that youngster to properly chew, swallow, and digest their food.
Missing a tooth or two will significantly reduce the efficiency of the child’s chewing and make it that much harder to digest his food. A full complement of teeth will help the child learn to speak and enunciate his words properly. It is very hard to pronounce sounds properly with teeth missing, especially for someone first learning to pronounce those sounds. Unfortunately, many do not realize the two are linked and speech issues will develop.
Another important function of these primary teeth is to save the space for the adult teeth, which will eventually take the place of the baby teeth. When baby teeth are lost too early, the other teeth can shift and not leave enough room for the next set of teeth. This loss of space is the main reason why young people need braces!
Finally, from the child’s perspective, the primary teeth are so important for proper self-esteem of that child. Children do not want to be singled out because they look different or because their adult teeth grow in incorrectly.
The proper number of teeth will help a child feel better about his appearance.
So are they worth the trouble of saving them? ABSOLUTELY!