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Do baby teeth have roots?

Aug 24, 2023Oral health

Do baby teeth have roots?

Yes, the roots of baby teeth resemble those of adult teeth. The reason behind the presence of baby teeth is that the size of adult teeth is not compatible with a child’s developing jaw. Although temporary, baby teeth are required to perform functions akin to their permanent counterparts such as aiding in chewing and facilitating speech. The roots are a crucial component among the other constituents of baby teeth, contributing significantly to their functionality.

Beneath the gums lie the dormant teeth waiting to erupt. Upon emergence, their roots anchor securely onto the jawbone. The appearance of the first teeth is anticipated around six months from birth projecting pearly white hues. In total, 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth are expected to develop. As children reach the age of 6 or 7, their primary teeth will gradually begin to loosen and fall out, thus allowing ample space for their permanent teeth. Upon the emergence of these adult teeth, they will securely attach to the jawbone via their roots.

Oral health is influenced by four crucial components found in both baby teeth and adult teeth. These parts serve important functions and impact overall oral hygiene significantly:

Enamel: Enamel is the external, visible layer of the teeth which is known for its extreme hardness and thinness.

Dentin: Dentin constitutes the major portion of a tooth and forms the thicker layer located beneath the enamel.

Pulp: The dental component known as Pulp is essentially the internal part of a tooth featuring a delicate tissue that comprises regenerative cells, nerves, and blood vessels responsible for producing dentin.

Root: The anchor point of the teeth, situated at the base, are referred to as roots. Their function is to secure the teeth firmly onto the gums and jawbone.

To ensure the adequate health and growth of primary teeth, it is imperative to maintain their roots intact until they are displaced by permanent teeth during childhood.

 

Why Roots Are Important for Baby Teeth

It’s important for primary teeth to remain securely anchored in the gums and jawbone, much like permanent teeth. Despite being temporary, these teeth are kept in position by their roots until they naturally loosen and shed.

Children vary in their developmental timeline, however, by the age of six, adult teeth typically begin to emerge and continue until around 12 years old. The roots of baby teeth play a crucial role in ensuring that children can chew and speak normally without experiencing excessive tooth mobility during this significant stage of their lives.

 

Maintaining Baby Teeth & When to See a Dentist

It is crucial to maintain the health of baby teeth similar to that of adult teeth. Dismissing their importance due to their temporary nature can lead to various dental issues such as cavities, toothaches and infections resulting in painful and potential long-term consequences for your child’s oral health.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene for baby teeth is of utmost importance. In order to safeguard the health of your child’s teeth, including the roots, until their permanent teeth come through, it is essential to follow these recommended steps:

  • As soon as the initial set of baby teeth emerge, commence the habit of brushing them.
  • Utilize a dental flosser to prevent any residual food particles from getting trapped between your teeth.
  • Limit your consumption of high-sugar foods.
  • Refrain from consuming milk or sugary beverages prior to your little one’s naptime or bedtime, as their high acid content may cause enamel deterioration in their delicate baby teeth.
  • It’s advisable to seek dental care from a qualified dentist as soon as possible to ensure that your dental health is well-maintained. It is recommended that you schedule your initial appointment when the child reaches one year of age, or within six months after the emergence of their first tooth.

A qualified dental professional is capable of offering comprehensive guidance to maintain oral hygiene and conduct a thorough inspection to ensure the healthy growth and development of teeth and gums.

On certain occasions, the excessive growth of baby teeth roots can inhibit the development of adult teeth, leading to potential complications. To address this issue, a pediatric dentist may recommend the removal of the persistent baby tooth.

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