Importance of Oral Health for Preschoolers


By the time children are 3 or 4 years old, all of their 20 baby teeth might have already come out. Although these baby teeth are temporary, they still reserve the space and guide the eruption and growth of future permanent teeth. If these baby teeth are neglected, they can actually cause serious and long-term problems. 

Why oral health for preschoolers is important 

As mentioned earlier, baby teeth guide the eruption of permanent teeth. If some or most of those baby teeth are lost too early, this increases the chances of having a misaligned set of teeth in the future (which then requires orthodontic correction). Irregularities in the spacing between the teeth might also result because the eruption of future teeth becomes misguided or random. 

In addition, if the baby teeth were neglected, this might cause problems with the proper development of children’s jaw and facial features. You might have realised already that teeth go beyond biting and chewing our food. Our teeth also affect how our jaw and face look overall (for children, their teeth can guide their facial and jaw bone development). 

Also, note that baby teeth can also cause pain and infection (these are just like our own permanent teeth after all). Infections can be dangerous and painful, which can leave a trauma to children. This can also lead to poor nutrition because they’re finding it hard to eat (you might not immediately notice that their lack of appetite is due to their toothache). 

Baby teeth and children’s oral health can also help with proper speech development (teeth also affect how children speak and pronounce words). If their teeth have spacing irregularities or noticeably misaligned, how they pronounce words might be different. This can affect their how they express themselves and whether they feel confident when talking with other people. 

Ensuring proper teeth and oral development 

To ensure that children undergo proper oral development, they should be taken to the dentist (and visit every 6 months for ongoing monitoring). This way, problems will be detected and corrected early on. They will also receive the benefits for years to come as their permanent teeth properly erupt one by one.