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A member asked:

why should i care for my baby's teeth?

29 doctor answers72 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Not all teeth...: ...Just the ones you don't want to rot and crumble. Even milk teeth can decay to the point of causing infections in the jaw and damage to permanent tooth buds.
Dr. Pamela Asseff
Dentistry 28 years experience
Baby teeth provide room for permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is badly decayed, the permanent tooth can come in with decay. This is known as Turner's tooth.
Aug 14, 2013
Dr. Leon F. Gerard
Dentistry 39 years experience
You only have to take care of the teeth you want to keep
Aug 16, 2013
Dr. Reena Gupta
Dr. Reena Gupta commented
Dentistry 19 years experience
baby teeth if decayed can cause problems with erruption of permanent,also decayed teeth can cause infections ands can affect the whole body if it starts forming abscesses..so should take care of baby teeth..also dont want baby to have pain!
Sep 23, 2013
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics 27 years experience
Teeth are important: Best ways: avoid juice (offer water, mother's milk, and cow's milk (after 1 year); don't let baby sleep with bottle; don't let toddler walk around all day with a cup. Begin brushing at 12 months.
Dr. Alvaro Lazo
Dr. Alvaro Lazo commented
Dentistry 24 years experience
They are important for speech , to eat and help with jaw development.
Jul 29, 2013
Dr. Leon F. Gerard
Dentistry 39 years experience
As a responsible parent it is you who helps ur child develop good habits for the rest of their life. If u have been raised by ur parents to place low importance on the health of your teeth then u may tend to neglect ur own child's teeth. This will then teach ur child that it's ok to neglect their own teeth later on when they grow up. U wouldn't neglect an infected finger until it needed 2 b amputa
Aug 16, 2013
Dr. Thomas Mchugh
Specializes in Dentistry
You also need to maintain the space that baby teeth occupy.
Aug 28, 2013
Dr. Bert Mandelbaum
Pediatrics 24 years experience
To Prevent Cavities: Caring for your child's teeth is important to prevent cavities and other infections of the mouth and gums. Brushing their teeth twice a day, not allowing them to go to sleep with a bottle and limiting sweets/hard candy will usually result in healthy teeth.
Dr. Bruce Elkind
Dentistry 39 years experience
Caring for your child's baby teeth also keeps alignment for the grown up teeth to erupt into place, helps for proper chewing and digestion, and speech.
Aug 3, 2013
Dr. Patricia Mcgarry
Cosmetic Dentistry 36 years experience
As soon as the teeth come in and touch-it is time for the parent to floss their child's teeth also
Sep 6, 2013
Dr. Charles Lockhart
Dentistry 9 years experience
Care and maintenance of baby teeth guide the permanent teeth to place. That is why it is important
Mar 22, 2015
Dr. Craig Uhl
Pediatrics 27 years experience
To prepare for adult: Teeth eruption. If baby teeth are damaged due to cavities, they may rot, and fall out. If so, that can cause a malalignment of adult teeth as they erupt. This can lead to expensive orthodontal work later in childhood. So, protect the baby teeth! no sugar drinks before bedtime!
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Part of your job..: ... As a parent. Baby teeth are important for chewing, speech formation, and to maintain space for the secondary teeth. Just because the baby teeth will be lost does not mean they are not needed. Cavities can result in pain, swelling, premature loss, and additional need for orthodontia. In addition, lack of parental care can be considered child neglect.
Dr. Dave Burns
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Blueprint: The baby teeth hold the arch in preparation for the eruption of the permanent teeth as we grow. Most back adult teeth come in between 10 and 15 which is when boys and girls go thru puberty or their growth spurt.
Dr. Rea Middleton
Dentistry 14 years experience
Space and health : Baby teeth are extremely important your child will have some baby teeth til the age of 12. The reason they are important is the help to maintain space for the permanent (adult) teeth. If baby teeth have large cavities and need to be pulled space will be lost which can lead to crowding with the perm. Teeth. Also infections in baby teeth can affect the adult tooth buds which are growing underneath.
Dr. Bruce Pope
Dentistry 45 years experience
Ouch!: Pain for one. Are you aware some baby teeth will not be lost until age 12? The baby teeth also hold space for the permanent teeth, lost early permanent teeth can come in crooked or not at all (impacted) the act of chewing also begins the digestive process to assimilate the nutrients for life and good health.
Dr. Matthew Hyde
Dentistry 41 years experience
Health and position: If baby teeth are lost too early due to decay it can lead to the permanent teeth not coming in to the mouth in the correct position. In addition why would you want to subject your child to possible abscess and infection. It's better to take care of them properly.
Dr. James Wright
Dentistry 33 years experience
They are important: Baby teeth allow the child to develop chewing and speech. They also hold the space for the adult teeth. Most babies begin teething around four months and some may be born with teeth. First start by wiping their gums with a wet clean cloth after meals. Once teeth emerge start brushing them.
Dr. Larry Gottlieb
Dentistry 41 years experience
For overall health: Your baby needs their teeth to eat, smile and be healthy. You should care for them so that your child never develops cavities or abscesses. Also a very important function of the baby teeth is to hold the space for the permanent teeth. If your child has problems with their baby teeth the possibility exists that they can have traumatic experiences that are best avoided.
Dr. Maryam Chiani
Dentistry 29 years experience
Cavities: Primary teeth are as important as permanent teeth. Cavities are infection in the body and must be prevented at all time. Also, primary teeth keep the space for the permanent teeth to come in and losing them prematurely will cause crowding of the permanent teeth.
Dr. Janelle Ferber-Stumpf
Dentistry 38 years experience
For their health: Baby teeth are very important for speech, nutrition, and holding space for the permanent teeth. As a parent, it is up to you make good choices in snacks, food and occasional treats. Brush their teeth inspite of protests. Floss any tooth that touches its neighbor. You will feel terrible if your child develops a toothache. It is up to you to inspire good dental practices now. Good luck!
Dr. James Manning
Dentistry 43 years experience
Great first answer a: Primary or baby teeth are the best place holders for permanent teeth later in life. While taking care of them may not prevent orthodontic issues, it will always keep them from being worse. Also, speech development , proper chewing and swallowing are best with healthy primary teeth. Besides, no parent would want their child to have the pain of an abscessed tooth!
Dr. Mark Venincasa
Cosmetic Dentistry 35 years experience
Multiple reasons...: Baby teeth allow children and teens to chew more efficiently, they help prevent the shifting of adjacent and opposing teeth, and they maintain space for the permanent teeth to grow in. There are very good reasons to save these teeth as opposed to extracting them early. This is a very good question.
Dr. Denny Cho
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Tooth movement: I don't know if you've noticed or not, but in impoverished communities most children's teeth are very crooked and crowded. If teeth decay and are left untreated, the other teeth in the jaw will shift and reduce the space necessary for the adult teeth to come in straight. You're also teaching behavioral pattern of not getting treatment until something hurts.
Dr. Kim Capehart
Dentistry 20 years experience
Many reasons: There are many reasons for one, some baby teeth are in the child's mouth till around so it's important for looks, function, and maintaining space for permanent teeth. Remember if bacteria, which causes cavities, are not treated in baby teeth, then they can transfer to adult teeth as cavities are a disease. You should take care of baby teeth the same as permanent teeth.
Dr. Robert Hulbert
Dentistry 22 years experience
Baby teeth: One reason to show concern over baby teeth is space. Baby teeth that are lost prematurely will likely cause other baby teeth to shift and tip. This can effect the available space for adult teeth to erupt or grow into ultimately causing permanent teeth to be crooked. They are also important in nutrition as food properly chewed allows more nutrients to be absorbed in digestion.
Dr. David Mjos
Dentistry 44 years experience
They are important: They maintain a position in the arch for the permanent teeth. Premature loss will effect the amount of space available for the permanent.
Dr. Jeffrey Krantz
Dentistry 9 years experience
Absolutely YES: Get the child used to oral health simply by using a gauze when he is under two years old to wipe down his teeth. Then give him a toothbrush and show him how to brush his teeth. Baby teeth rot and decay no different than adult teeth and teaching him early will put him on a road to better oral health.
Dr. Aaron Cregger
Dentistry 15 years experience
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE: Pain and infection are the scary possible consequences to not caring for your baby's teeth, but the best example for kids is what you do, not what you say, I have 2 little ones and i witness every day that the things i say and do, they also do, so be a good example for your kids and teach them the importance of taking care of their teeth, it is not only healthy but cheaper in the long run!
Dr. Diane Stacey
Dentistry 45 years experience
Baby teeth: The twenty baby teeth guide the new permanent teeth as they develop. The last baby teeth are not usually lost until age 10-12 years old. You would also like your child to have teeth to chew with as they grow and nice looking teeth gives them self-confidence.
Dr. Ron E. Bell
Cosmetic Dentistry 45 years experience
Begin brushing early: The gums should be massaged as early as a few months old to prepare the baby for the teeth and the cleansing that is needed as soon as they start to erupt. Continue to clean them and watch the diet.
Dr. Russell Chin
Dentistry 45 years experience
Growth n development: Even at this young age they need for self esteem and nutrition so they can grow . The baby teeth maintain space for the forming adult teeth beneath the baby teeth. As the jaw grows and the adult teeth continue to develop they preserve the space in 3d so the adult will come in straight as possible. All while they grow with confidence and able to smile with high self esteem and confidence.
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
Dentistry 45 years experience
Many reasons!!!!: Broken down baby teeth can lead to infections, affect the forming permanent teeth, speech problems if loss of teeth, bad alignment of the erupting perm. Teeth and self esteem of the child with a poor smile. Don't even consider just letting the baby teeth break down!
Dr. Jerry Hu
Dr. Jerry Huanswered
Cosmetic Dentistry 23 years experience
Your baby's teeth: First for your baby's future adult permanent teeth, the baby (primary) ones are there for space issues. Premature loss of them due to infection, trauma, etc. Will cause a cascade of issues including airway/ arch- malocclusion problems later in life. Plus, infections in teeth and/or gums can lead to serious and even deadly consequences if left untreated. Please care for your child's oral health.
Dr. Ronald Hsu
Pediatric Dentistry 18 years experience
Form and function: Baby teeth are very important in the development of speech and facial structures, as well as provide guidance for the permanent teeth to come in properly. Baby teeth in the front fall out at around 6 yr old, but the ones in the back don't go until 12 yr old on average. Early loss could cause serious problems. I don't have enough space here to tell you all of the reasons.
Dr. Justin Nelson
Pediatric Dentistry 16 years experience
Proper parenting: we should all care about baby teeth because we all need baby teeth for chewing, proper growth and to help with development. Please take care of them just like you would with adult teeth: proper flossing, brushing, dental exams, scheduled xrays and fluoride treatments (if needed).
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
It's good parenting: Note: 1st Dental Examination age 1. Teeth necessary for proper nutrition, lip/jaw/tongue function, proper speech, overall health, eruption guide for permanent teeth. If baby teeth become decayed, infection can quickly spread to heart, brain, kidneys, etc. see a Pedodontist, a Pediatric Dental Specialist. Cheaper to prevent dental disease than treat the ravages of disease.

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