The Significance of Baby Teeth

This is part two in a three part series to inform moms of the importance of baby dental health.  Our newest Mom Squad partner, Pediatric Dentists Dr. Stacey Conn, Dr. Martha V. Hardaway, and Dr. Michael J. Mayhew are sharing some information about monitoring your baby’s dental health right from the start.

Part 1: Preserving Your baby’s Dental Health

Part 2: Significance of Baby Teeth

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Despite the fact that baby teeth are eventually replaced by permanent adult teeth, it’s important that they remain healthy and in place until they’re lost naturally since they serve several critical functions.

Baby Teeth:

  • foster good nutrition by permitting proper chewing
  • aid speech development
  • maintain space for permanent tooth eruption
  • and contribute to creating a child’s self-esteem. A healthy smile helps children feel good about how they look to others.

Baby TeethPediatric dentists complete at least two years of advanced training after dental school, preparing them to address the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents –including those with special healthcare requirements. Even their offices are designed with children in mind. Having the first dental visit in such a pleasant environment before the onset of any tooth problems establishes trust and confidence in dental care in children that can carry over into adulthood. It both helps children feel good about visiting the dentist and encourages them to care for their own teeth.

Various methods to repair baby teeth are available and vary based on the treatment needs. Most children do extremely well responding to the dental care provided with special techniques of behavior management from the pediatric dentist and staff. Some children may benefit from mild sedation to help the dentist provide safe and effective dental care. The pediatric dentist and staff are especially trained and prepared to assist the child in having a comfortable visit. Some special needs and medically compromised children may benefit from dental treatment in a hospital environment while under general anesthesia provided by an anesthesiologist.

Pediatric dentists are well trained in understanding your child’s growth and development, particularly the transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Early recognition of developing orthodontic problems can be beneficial in correcting tooth eruption and jaw growth problems.

Crowding of the teeth in young children is common as they lose small baby teeth and gain larger permanent teeth. While some children may require an early treatment approach to particular problems often followed with full braces as a teen, most can have a single experience with braces to correct their problems. Pediatric dentists are trained to both recognize and provide some early management of developing orthodontic problems while recommending appropriate referrals to orthodontists as beneficial to the child’s individual needs.

Boone, Blowing Rock, and other towns in the surrounding counties have many excellent dentists that can discuss your dental health care needs. Specialists in Pediatric Dentistry in Boone are Dr. Stacy Conn, Dr. Martha Hardaway, and Dr. Michael Mayhew located at 373 Boone Heights Drive. Visit their website at www.opsmiles.com for more information on optimal dental health!