Oral hygiene is not just crucial in adults; it is equally vital in babies as well. So, thinking that taking care of milk teeth is unnecessary just because it’ll fall out, is a complete myth. The primary teeth, otherwise known as the milk teeth, play a crucial role in a child’s life. It contributes to a child’s physical, emotional, and social development. Improper care of the milk teeth will eventually impact their oral health and the strength of the permanent teeth that erupt later.
Here, we will be discussing some of the leading reasons why taking care of milk teeth in children is crucial.
Table of Contents
Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye
- For Teeth Position and Alignment
- For Adequate Nutrition and Health
- For Speech and Facial Development
- For Better Health of the Permanent Teeth
Common Problems Found in Milk Teeth and Their Treatment
1. For Teeth Position and Alignment
One of the foremost functions of milk teeth is to help guide the permanent teeth to grow into their correct position. Improper care of the milk teeth generally leads to tooth decay and eventual loss of the tooth. This untimely loss of a milk tooth will cause the adjacent milk tooth to shift to the empty space which can block the eruption of the permanent tooth present underneath.
Sometimes, consistent tooth decay leaves behind the risks of infection or abscess, which further hinders permanent tooth development.
2. For Adequate Nutrition and Health
Another reason behind milk teeth care is to ensure that your child gets proper nutrition while eating food. Generally, lack of reasonable care and oral hygiene leads to the risks of infection, tooth decay, and cavities in children.
Untreated cavities in children lead to risks of infection and consistent pain that children complain about. Feeling constant pain in the oral cavity can affect their appetite and prevent them from eating optimally because of painful chewing.
If the chewing is compromised, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies in the child. Moreover, untreated cavities that are likely inhibiting eating can lead to the further spread of the infection, affecting the brain in severe cases.
3. For Speech and Facial Development
The combination of jaw and teeth plays a crucial role in ensuring facial development and structure. Not taking care of milk teeth generally contributes to crooked growth of the permanent teeth in children. It often lacks support for the facial muscles and disrupts the child’s facial structure and shape.
Not just the facial shape and development, the improper care of the milk teeth in children also causes speech impairment in the long run. The proper positioning of the permanent teeth (after milk teeth falling age) helps correct pronunciation and clear speech.
Improper setup of the permanent teeth inhibits the optimal functioning of the tongue, lips, and cheeks disrupting the precise production of speech and sounds in children.
4. For Better Health of the Permanent Teeth
It is when the milk teeth fall that the permanent teeth start erupting. The permanent teeth erupt in close proximity to the milk teeth. Improper care and hygiene of the milk teeth lead to risks of cavities and enamel erosion. It might not seem very important in the time being, but lack of treatment for the cavities leads to infections in the oral cavity.
So, if your child is complaining about pain and has developed a stern aversion towards food, it is likely that the infection is taking a turn for the worse. If left untreated, not only does it affect one’s physical health, it often contributes to the poor growth and development of permanent teeth in children.
Ensure that you take your child to a dentist before things take a turn for the worse and cause severe health risks.
Common Problems Found in Milk Teeth and Their Treatment
The most common problem found in milk teeth in children is tooth decay and infections in later stages. The condition is generally caused by improper milk teeth care and the absence of oral hygiene in children.
Since children depend on milk and semi-solid foods rich in natural sugars, lack of oral hygiene multiplies the bacterial infestation in the mouth, leading to cavities and infections. It often leads to pain and swelling around the affected tooth and gums, causing pain while chewing food.
If your child is complaining about pain and discomfort and hasn’t been eating well, something is likely wrong with their teeth. Ensure that you consult a pediatric dentist for the same and get the problem checked out before it takes a turn for the worse.
Consulting a good dentist in Gurgaon can get you the answers you need for the condition and eventually help your child get relief from the pain and discomfort.
Some of the effective treatment options for babies in such cases include:
Fillings for tooth decay – One of the most common dental issues that kids experience is tooth decay. Fillings are primarily designed to restore the affected tooth that is damaged due to decay. The materials used for the fillings include different kinds of biomedical ingredients, including tooth-colored resins or porcelain, composite or dental amalgam.
Pulpectomy and Pulpotomy – These two procedures are an integral part of pediatric dentistry. It is done in cases of serious oral infections. In a pulpectomy, the dentist removes the entire pulp from the roots and the crown of the teeth, thereby getting rid of the infection to prevent further spread. In pulpotomy, the pulp from only the crown of the teeth is removed, leaving the pulp inside the root intact. It is a leading procedure that helps get rid of tooth infection in milk teeth in children.
Extraction followed by space maintainers – In cases of severe tooth decay, where it is not possible to save the tooth, it is recommended to get the tooth extracted to prevent any further spread of infection. However, it is important to place a space maintainer appliance after extraction to allow the permanent teeth to erupt in the right position.
Fluoride Treatment – Fluoride is a natural element that has promising benefits in preventing tooth decay in children. It also restores the process of remineralization for the healthy restoration of the teeth’ enamel in kids. Fluoride can be applied in the form of varnish by the dentist to prevent tooth decay. Additionally, your dentist may recommend fluoride-based toothpaste.
As a parent, you must take good care of your child’s oral hygiene. Not just that, it is significant to teach your child about the importance of oral hygiene and the healthy habits that can ensure adequate development of the permanent teeth for consistent growth and accurate speech in the future. Teaching your children early about the importance of oral hygiene and milk teeth care later results in the healthy development of permanent teeth.
1^ Overview ICPA Health | February,25,2021
2^ Common Problems Found in Milk Teeth and Their Treatment WebMD | February,25,2021