Maintaining the health of primary (baby) teeth is exceptionally important. Although baby teeth will eventually be replaced, they fulfill several crucial functions in the meantime.
Baby teeth aid enunciation and speech production, help the child to chew food correctly, maintain space in the jaw for adult teeth, and prevent the tongue from posturing abnormally in the mouth. When baby teeth are lost prematurely due to decay or trauma, adjacent teeth shift to fill the gap. This phenomenon can lead to impacted adult teeth, years of orthodontic treatment, and a poor aesthetic result.
Babies are at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first primary tooth emerges usually around the age of six months. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a baby check up with a pediatric dentist around the age of twelve months.