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  • Dr.Valya Mertarchyan

What are the benefits of treating baby teeth? Is it worth treating primary teeth (baby teeth)?

Taking care of primary (baby) teeth is just as important as taking care of permanent teeth. Maintaining healthy primary teeth is crucial until the physiological exfoliation of primary teeth begins.

Why baby teeth are important?

Primary teeth play a crucial role in chewing, appearance, speaking, and maintaining space for permanent teeth.

How important is chewing to your children?

Chewing and preparing food for swallowing are the main functions of teeth, including baby teeth. Kids with proper chewing abilities will eat a well-balanced, nutrient-dense, variety of food. Kids' malnutrition and being underweight can be prevented by keeping primary teeth healthy. It is vital to chew dense food to avoid many orthodontic problems in adulthood.

Primary teeth premature loss may result in malocclusion.

Primary teeth are the best space maintainers for permanent teeth. A potential problem associated with premature loss of primary teeth is the loss of space for permanent teeth. This problem is particularly prevalent when primary molars are lost prematurely. After losing a primary second molar, a mesial drift of permanent molars almost always occurs with a space loss for permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is lost, an orthodontic evaluation is recommended to determine if space maintenance treatment is needed.

Multiple primary teeth loss may affect a child's appearance and speech.

Psychological issues such as limited communication and low self-confidence may result. Due to these reasons, children in school often struggle to learn and succeed.

What is space maintenance treatment?

It is recommended to use a space maintainer (an appliance) if primary molars are prematurely lost and the eruption of permanent premolars will take more than 6 months. This will prevent drifting teeth and the closure of spaces for permanent teeth. Additionally, these appliances are required after space regaining treatment.
A removable or fixed appliance can be used for space maintenance. Your dentist will decide which one is most appropriate for your treatment.

The key takeaways are:

  • Taking care of your kids' baby teeth is important.

  • Primary teeth should be treated and not extracted.

Tips to prevent baby teeth caries:

  1. Brush kids’ teeth for 2 min. Brush teeth twice daily. Floss every day.

  2. Brush with small-size toothpaste (pea-sized)

  3. Be sure to know how much fluoride is in a child's drinking water

  4. Do not offer a bottle with juice or any liquid food other than water during bedtime

  5. Start oral hygiene as the first tooth is erupted (6 months)

  6. Kids should visit a dentist close to one-year-old age

  7. Kids should visit a dentist every 6 months

When it comes to children's health, baby teeth are just as important as permanent ones.

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