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Los Gatos Family Dentistry
Dr. Patricia Phan - Los Gatos, CA

Why are baby teeth important if they just fall out anyway?

It is a common misconception that baby teeth aren’t important since they eventually fall out. The fact is that baby teeth play a crucial role in your child’s dental development. They act as placeholders that hold space open in your child’s jaw so that permanent teeth have the room to emerge correctly.

If a baby tooth is lost too soon, neighboring teeth start to drift and close the space that was being reserved for the permanent tooth. Now, when the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, there isn’t sufficient space, and the result is tooth crowding and misalignment.

The key to keeping baby teeth healthy and intact is to practice oral hygiene at home and bring your child in to see us twice a year for checkups and teeth cleanings. We’ll support your at-home efforts by providing oral hygiene guidance and answering any questions you have.

Even before your baby gets their first tooth, you can wipe down their gums with a gauze pad or soft washcloth. As soon as the first baby tooth makes its appearance, use a small soft toothbrush to clean their teeth. You should start flossing as soon as any two teeth touch.

With conscientious brushing and flossing and routine checkups, we can help keep your child’s baby teeth healthy and intact until they’ve done their job and come out on their own. We recommend you bring him or her for their first visit as soon as the first baby tooth appears, but no later than age one.

Please call us if it’s time to schedule your little one’s first dental visit.

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