Baby teeth are key in every child’s development. Even though these set of teeth will eventually fall out, they help babies to develop their oral health. Most often referred to as milk teeth, primary teeth or deciduous teeth, they can contribute immensely to a child’s overall health.

When do baby teeth form?

Baby teeth begin to form when the mother is pregnant on her second trimester. However, the teeth will not come out until the baby is born and grows to 6 months or more. Most parents will notice two sets of teeth at the front part of the lower jaw, commonly known in the dental practice as lower central incisors. After the first two teeth appear, the rest will gradually come in afterwards. Most children will have their front teeth before the ones at the back begin to appear. The last teeth to appear are usually the last to be lost as the baby grows older and will soon be replaced by adult teeth.

Baby teeth and nutrition

As the baby teeth come out, parents can start weaning their babies and helping them to know how to chew food. This is why baby teeth are considered a very important element in a child’s nutrition. With the baby teeth, the child can begin to slowly learn how to eat different kinds of foods that their body needs to grow healthy.

Baby teeth and speech development

The baby teeth also contribute to the child’s speech development. Teeth allow people to make different sounds. With the growth of baby teeth, the child can start forming words and short sentences until they develop into adult teeth. From 18 months, most children will start forming words and phrases. By this time, they have many baby teeth all around the mouth and this is what contributes to the improved speech.

Teeth provide a guide for keeping the tongue in place inside the mouth. This is how the teeth help in forming speech. By keeping the tongue inside the mouth, it doesn’t wander and create speech difficulties. The same baby teeth will also help the child to learn how to chew food without biting their tongue.

Baby teeth helps to develop the jaw and mouth

Baby teeth will take the place that will be eventually substituted for adult teeth. These teeth are important because they help the child to smile and speak. Since the child is still too small, a full set of adult teeth may not fit in their mouth and jaw. The adult teeth will only start to form when the jaw has fully developed adequate space to fit them.

One thing that most parents do not know is that cavities in baby teeth can affect the child’s oral development. When the baby tooth has to be removed because of a cavity, the child might experience dental issues when they are older. Dentists may recommend space savers which are inserted to replace baby teeth to prevent overcrowding, overlapping or using other corrective dental tools as adults.