One of the things I hear as a dentist, and absolutely hate hearing, is that milk teeth are not permanent, so they don’t need as much attention as permanent teeth. This is absolutely wrong, and milk teeth are much more important than people seem to think.
Milk teeth are vital in the child’s development, both physical and psychological. Having all the teeth ensures that the chewing process is normal, and that the craniofacial growth is not impaired. It’s also important because having a nice smile is fundamental in every age! Smiling is something that kids do all the time, and it’s important for their social interactions to have a nice mouth and not be ashamed of their teeth.
But, what is more important, having healthy milk teeth is the only way to make sure that the growth and positioning of the final teeth is normal! Losing a molar tooth even a year before the final erupts may cause a change in position that can become troublesome in the future.
In kids, the front teeth are more usually lost by trauma. Think of all the running around, jumping and overall ruckus that children do, and it makes sense. But the molars are usually lost by decaying, and this is where parents can take preventive measures.
Start brushing your kid’s teeth as soon as they erupt, and, as they grow older, get them used to having a normal oral hygiene. I’ve written an article here where I give some tips on how to do this the fun way.
Parents can’t always prevent accidents and it really is very common for kids to break their teeth. But it’s very easy to introduce brushing in a kid’s routine, and it’s something that is vital for their health in the future!