Why are baby teeth important?

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There are so many wives’ tales surrounding baby teeth, we asked Dr. Amberlee Taylor, of North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry, to give us the skinny on these precious little smiles.

By Patricia Nugent

When baby teeth first erupt between six months and a year, parents can expect their toddlers to have painful, swollen gums, sleepless nights and a crankier-than-usual disposition. In all, they’ll go through the process 20 times, or with each primary tooth, which should have appeared by age three.

There are so many wives’ tales surrounding baby teeth, we asked Dr. Amberlee Taylor, of North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry, to give us the skinny on these precious little smiles.

Q: Considering they are only temporary, why are baby teeth so important?

A: As placeholders, primary teeth hold the space in the jaw that permanent teeth will eventually grow into.

These teeth are just as prone to cavities as permanent teeth. Care should be taken that they are not lost early, as this could cause the adult tooth to drift from its intended space. By age five, many children have already gotten cavities in their primary teeth.

Teething can be a difficult process, as the tooth is cutting through the jawbone, leaving a toddler irritable and prone to drooling. Cool objects, such as a cold cloth or teething ring that can be placed in the refrigerator, can help to ease the pain. And if the child is old enough to eat food, cold applesauce or yogurt helps, too. Although your grandmother might swear by rubbing any form of alcohol on the gums, we do not recommend that.

Have any further questions about pediatric dental care? Feel free to call Dr. Amberlee Taylor at 440-210-9340, or visit NorthRoyaltonPediatricDentistry.com. The practice is located at 6391 Royalton Road in North Royalton.

Categories: Westside Kids & Pets