Dr. Sudhi Arora
The importance of milk teeth

Life rarely gives us second chances to rectify any mistakes that we could have possibly made. MILK Teeth are considered to be one such chance.......Nature gives us two set of teeth- Primary or Milk teeth and Secondary or Permanent teeth. The general outlook towards milk teeth is that they are temporary teeth which are about to be shed and hence their upkeep is not important. This outlook is grossly wrong and needs to be changed. 'Milk' teeth are as important to infants and children as permanent teeth are for adults. Some parents do not realize that these teeth serve many other functions than biting and chewing.

  1. Help in digestion- The first step of digestion is chewing and healthy teeth help your child to eat a well balanced diet. The child needs a variety of food for a balanced diet and chewing foods of different textures stimulates and exercises the gums and provides cleansing action of teeth. If your child swallows too rapidly and without chewing food properly,the digestion process is prolonged

  2. Vital aid to speech- Your childs milk teeth help in forming words and speaking clearly. The major part of a persons vocabulary and speech are acquired in the early formative years and the absence of any milk tooth might interfere with the correct pronounciation of certain words and lead to faulty speech habits.

  3. Vital for normal development of jaw bones and facial muscles- Like muscles in other parts of body, your child's face and jaw muscles need exercise to help them develop properly which is provided by chewing. This exercise is necessary for face and jaws to develop enough for permanent teeth to come in properly.

  4. Add to an attractive appearance- Good looks are as important for your child as they are for you. An attractive smile adds to the beauty as well as confidence of your child.

  5. Reserve space for permanent teeth- When a permanent tooth is ready to erupt it will resorb the roots of the primary tooth it will replace. The roots of the baby tooth dissolve and the tooth becomes loose and fall out. If a milk tooth is decayed and falls out prematurely, teeth on either side of the open space might encroach upon the empty space and there may not be room for permanent tooth. The new permanent tooth may erupt out of its proper position and can effect the positioning of other teeth. Thus,if a milk tooth is lost too soon then the permanent tooth has no guide to follow.

The best time to start off with good dental health is as soon as possible. It is preferable to take early preventive measures so your child can keep all of their milk teeth till they are ready to be shed. Nature meant these teeth to last a certain period and not a day less.

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