The 20 baby teeth (also known as baby or children’s) teeth are the first teeth that a person acquires in his life, which are gradually replaced by the 36 permanent ones.

They begin to form from the 6th to the 8th week of pregnancy, they develop during pregnancy, while in the newborn they are already partially formed inside the jaws. They appear from the 6th month (after the birth of the baby) and remain in the child’s mouth until the age of 6 to 12 years.

Baby teeth are a key element of children’s health as they are their chewing and speaking organ. In case they have been affected by dental diseases, they should be treated immediately because there is a risk that the permanent ones will also get sick.

The main dental diseases of young teeth are tooth decay and gingivitis. The dental plaque is responsible for these two diseases. It is caused by the microbial plaque that adheres to them. It is a colorless, soft, sticky mass consisting of 30% of the carbohydrates and proteins of food as well as some endogenous substances (such as saliva), while the largest percentage (i.e. 70%) is composed of oral microbes.

The prolonged stay of the plaque in the mouth leads to its calcification by the saliva and its transformation into a hard mass that cannot be removed with a simple brushing of the teeth.

Plaque can occur even in children under the age of six, while children more «succeptible» to the formation of plaque are the ones who have:

many fillings

diet rich in carbohydrates and sugars

orthodontic anomalies

In addition, plaque build-up often causes gingivitis – a superficial inflammation of the gums that swells and bleeds – as a result of incorrect or non-existent tooth brushing.

For a long time, (from the age of 5 to 12 years of the child) the baby teeth coexist with the permanent teeth, so if the children’s teeth show problems, permanent damage and tooth loss in the permanent dentition may occur.

In fact, the general health of the child can be affected, even abscesses can form, with incidents that can even lead the child to the hospital.

The proper hygiene of the baby teeth is of the utmost importance because they maintain the necessary space for the permanent teeth that will succeed them, while contributing to maintaining the correct shape of the face.

It is a fact that the baby teeth are equally important as the permanent ones and neglecting them under the pretext of changing them is a wrong practice.

Parents should brush their children’s teeth thoroughly, with a soft children’s toothbrush, using appropriate toothpaste, and then set a good example by teaching them about comprehensive oral care.

Finally, frequent visits to the dentist and orthodontist are crucial for
children’s oral health, preventing unpleasant situations that can burden their permanent dentition even for the rest of their lives.