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baby smiling and showing baby teeth

What Are Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth are also referred to as primary teeth by dental professionals. For most babies, the baby teeth begin to come in or erupt into the mouth at around six years of age. A total of twenty primary teeth are present in the mouth by thirty-three months of age. The eruption times may vary by a few months, but that is still considered within normal limits. Shedding of primary teeth begins around the ages of six or seven years old. For most people, all of their baby teeth will have completely shed by age twelve.

baby teeth eruption chart

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

We all know that teeth are needed to chew food while eating and to make swallowing and digestion easier. However, primary teeth serve another function that is equally important. Baby teeth hold the place or area where the adult teeth will eventually come in. If primary teeth are lost prematurely, the adult or permanent teeth may not erupt into the mouth properly. Teeth tend to drift or move into an open area or space. If a tooth is lost prematurely, the surrounding teeth begin to drift into the newly vacant spot left by the missing tooth. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the nearby teeth will drift into that area.

missing baby teeth close up

Why Save Baby Teeth?

When the teeth drift, it makes it hard for the adult teeth to erupt properly into place. Adult teeth that do not erupt properly are at risk of coming into the mouth rotated, at an angle or only partially erupting into the mouth. Orthodontic treatment through the use of traditional braces or Invisalign will be needed for permanent teeth that are not aligned properly. Primary teeth need to be kept healthy until they shed to avoid affecting the adult teeth negatively.

child with milk teeth

Dental Considerations

Some find it strange when the dentist mentions that a baby tooth should have a dental filling or a temporary dental crown. The dentist recommends this treatment because they are worried about the incoming adult teeth. Remember that while baby teeth are eventually lost, it is important to keep them healthy for the adult teeth.

girl with metal braces on her teeth

If you think your child’s baby teeth are at risk of premature loss, contact us to schedule a consultation or exam.

 

Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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