Deciduous teeth are 20 teeth that start developing while in the womb, and begin erupting 6 months after the birth until 3 years age. Until age of 6, children only have deciduous teeth. After that age, molar teeth begin to erupt and gradually deciduous teeth are replaced with permanent teeth.
Caries in deciduous teeth are frequently encountered because of more brittle structure of deciduous teeth compared to the permanent ones and lack of efficient tooth brushing due to the young age of children.
Why is it important that deciduous teeth should not be lost?
First, loss of anterior teeth at a young age (3-4 years age) may lead to esthetic concerns and even psychological problems in the child. During age of 6-7, loss of those teeth do not have an important effect on children because this is the time when permanent teeth replace the deciduous ones.
Importance for speech
Anterior teeth contribute considerably for generation of certain sounds. Some sounds are created by touching of the tongue on posterior surfaces of those teeth. If these teeth are lost, sounds of s,f,v,z,t,d can not be pronounced accurately.
Importance for chewing
Since this region can not be employed in considerably deep caries and loss of many teeth, chewing can not be performed adequately which leads to a reduction in activation of mastication muscles. Digestive disorders can arise due to inadequate mastication, as well.
Guidance for eruption of permanent teeth
Deciduous teeth act as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth. If the deciduous teeth have been lost early, corresponding permanent teeth may deviate from their normal eruption site which leads to an orthodontic problem.
Owing to the above listed reasons, the children should visit an orthodontist right after the beginning of the eruption of first deciduous teeth should come to controls every 6 months, and their teeth should be treated if required to.
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