Baby teeth are not very accurately named, when you think about it. Sure, they start to come in when the child is in their infancy, so at that point they are literally baby teeth. But then the child grows and grows through the very important developmental years of toddlerhood and beyond, all the while housing the same “baby” teeth they sprouted as an infant. So what happens when these baby teeth get damaged and are neglected? Simply put—a host of problems.
Even though there are many that subscribe to the notion of baby teeth not being important to a child’s health because of the inevitable loss and replacement of the teeth but permanent adult teeth, the reality is that a child’s teeth are extremely important to the overall health and development of that child. Some of the areas of overall health that are negatively affected by improper dental care to children’s teeth include:
- The child’s ability to eat solid food (the inability to do so can lead to nutritional issues and an unhealthy diet).
- The development and placement of the jaw bones in the child (which can lead to poor jaw health and all of the issues surrounding that).
- The ability of the child to speak. Poor dental health in a child has been shown to hinder speech development due to the improper placement of teeth in the mouth.
Perhaps more parents would take better care of safeguarding their child’s dental care if the title was changed from “baby teeth” to “children’s teeth”. At least with this designation a parent would gain a better understanding of how important a child’s teeth are to the rest of their overall development along with their dental habits and oral care.