Your child's primary (baby) teeth are important in more ways than one. By the time most toddlers are three years old, they have a full set of baby teeth. These teeth allow young children to enjoy a range of foods from which they can obtain the vitamins and minerals necessary for them to grow. However, baby teeth also serve several other important functions.
Baby Teeth Aid Facial Development
Believe it or not, but a toddler's teeth are vital to their future facial development. When the permanent teeth begin to erupt at about the age of 6–7 years-old, the baby teeth help to guide them into position. If you opt to remove a baby tooth too soon, its permanent replacement may be crooked. This might result in the need for braces at a later stage.
The act of chewing is also essential for your child's facial muscle development. If your child is forced to favour one side of their mouth over the other due to a missing tooth, their face could become lopsided. In addition, the tongue is also used when chewing, to manipulate pieces of food. This strengthens the tongue, aiding speech development.
Missing teeth affect the way a child chews their food. As a result, they may not use their tongue to manipulate food as much as they should. This will weaken the tongue and negatively affect speech development.
Dental Crowns Can Restore Baby Teeth
Even when a child's baby teeth are badly damaged by decay or trauma, extraction should always be the last resort. Fortunately, dental crowns are not just for adults. Dental crowns can also be used to restore first and second primary molars. Unlike the dental crowns used for adult teeth, dental crowns for baby teeth are made of stainless steel.
Dental crowns for baby teeth can usually be fitted in one visit, and once bonded in place, they will help your child to chew normally. Although these crowns are not used for front teeth, there are other options, such as dental bonding, that can be used instead. No matter where a damaged tooth is in your child's mouth, restoration should always be your first choice.
When a child is over the age of five, extraction is less of a risk. This is especially true if that child's development is ahead of the norm. Otherwise, you should do all you can to ensure the longevity of your child's baby teeth. Contact a cosmetic dentistry office for additional advice.