By Azi Nia, DMD
We all know that our children will lose their baby teeth and that they will happily give all 20 of them to the tooth fairy in exchange for a buck; but keeping these temporary teeth healthy is imperative to the overall health of your child.
Baby teeth help with the alignment and position of permanent teeth. Baby teeth save the space for our adult teeth and assist in guiding the adult teeth into their respectful positions. If the child loses a baby tooth too early due to tooth decay, the neighboring teeth can drift into that space, resulting in less room for the permanent tooth or even preventing the permanent tooth from erupting.
Healthy baby teeth protect permanent teeth. Permanent teeth develop within millimeters to the root of baby teeth. Baby teeth are smaller and have thinner enamel, which allows cavities to spread very quickly. If cavities are not treated, the baby tooth can develop an infection or an abscess. Infection and abscesses can hinder tooth development and cause damage to the permanent tooth underneath.
Baby teeth help with your child’s overall health and nutrition. Healthy teeth help your child chew and digest food without any difficulty. Cavities often result in tooth pain. The pain caused by cavities is sometimes so severe that it impedes your child’s ability to chew, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Baby teeth help support your child’s speech development. The tongue, lips, and cheeks deflect off teeth when forming sounds. The presence and proper positioning of baby teeth assist in the formation of correct pronunciation during speech. The tooth structure also provides support for the developing facial muscles and gives shape to your child’s face.
Healthy baby teeth can help your child’s concentration and self-esteem. The pain resulting from tooth decay can also interfere with your child’s ability to concentrate in school, at home, in church, etcetera. A hurting mouth or decayed tooth can cause a poor taste in his/her mouth or cause a foul odor on his/her breath. This could result in your child feeling less confident about his/her smile and deter smiling.
Azi Nia, DMD, is a board-certified pediatric dentist. Dr. Azi (as her patients call her) attended Georgia State University and continued on to the Medical College of Georgia to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. In order to become a specialist in pediatric dentistry, she completed a 3-year residency at Colorado Children’s Hospital, where she also served as chief resident. Dr. Azi is dedicated to providing excellent pediatric dental care and building confidence in her patients. Creating a positive dental experience customized to each young patient is central to her practice’s philosophy.
Nia Pediatric Dentistry • (770) 479- 9999 • www.niadentistry.com