All teeth are important, whether they will fall out or not. If teeth are not cared for, they can decay, leading to cavities, significant pain, infection, and swelling. Studies have shown that children with dental disease do not perform as well in school due to pain, lack of sleep, and malnutrition. Untreated cavities of the baby teeth can and frequently do lead to problems that affect the development of permanent teeth. Baby teeth are important for
• proper chewing and eating
• development of permanent teeth
• development of the jaw bones and muscles
• speech development
The front 4 teeth typically start falling out at 6-7 years of age while the back teeth (cuspids and molars) are not replaced until age 10-13.