We see a lot of parents with very young children here at CK Dental in Bristol, and that’s a very good thing – it’s never too early to get your children into good dental habits.
But one thing we’re concerned about is how certain parents see milk teeth as a trial run, with little consequence as to what happens to them. And this recent news story bears our concerns out.
Why are milk teeth so important?
Deciduous teeth – the official term for milk teeth – form as early as the embryo stage, usually appear at the six-month stage, and are pretty much fully-formed by the time your child is two and a half.
It’s not usually until your child is six before the permanent teeth are ready to make an appearance, and it could be as late at the twelve-year period before milk teeth are completely replaced. So it’s vital
that while they’re there, they are treated with the same care and respect as our adult teeth.
In many cases, the general attitude towards milk teeth is that they’re disposable: they’re only here for a while, so why bother with them? Because the care of them is vital for the future of your child’s dental health, and if things go wrong early, it can magnify problems for adult teeth.
Space is not the place
The main problem with premature milk teeth loss is a condition known as ‘space loss’. When one tooth goes before its time, the adult tooth that’s getting ready to replace it will not get the space it needs when its time comes, leading to braces in the teenage years.
What’s more, severely decayed milk teeth can cause abscesses that cause pain in the short term and damage to the adult teeth before they even appear.
Want to get your kids into good dental habits? Here’s a good place to start.