Your child's first teeth, called primary or "baby" teeth, are crucial to your child's early dental development. These teeth help your child as he or she develops speech and learns to chew solid foods.
Additionally, baby teeth create a sort of "pathway" for the permanent teeth to follow, which usually starts happening around the age of 6. The root of the baby tooth begins to dissolve, causing it to become wiggly and eventually fall out, which leaves a space for the permanent tooth to erupt.
When a tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth that eventually erupts may come in crooked or in the wrong place, which can lead to a need for orthodontic correction later in life. Alternatively, if a baby tooth becomes damaged, the root may not dissolve properly, which can lead to the tooth failing to fall out on time. In this situation, the permanent tooth may erupt in an incorrect place or fail to erupt completely and become impacted, raising the risk of abscess or infection. If your child takes a fall and injures his or her tooth, please notify us so that we can keep an eye on that tooth and make sure that everything is still developing as usual. If the tooth fails to fall out on time, we may recommend a simple extraction to allow the permanent teeth to erupt correctly.