The Important Role of Baby Teeth
Seemingly Temporary and Dispensable, Baby Teeth Play an Important Role
Why do we have two sets of teeth?
Initially, the jaw is too small for a full set of adult teeth. Baby teeth serve their purpose just till the jaw develops enough room for adult teeth to form and push them out. This usually begins by age 6 or 7.
Why worry about cavities in baby teeth?
While baby teeth may seem temporary and dispensable, they actually play an important role that can impact the development of adult teeth. They act as a guide that adult teeth follow to emerge properly positioned, and a badly decayed baby tooth can even transfer the disease to the adult tooth below. That’s why it’s crucial to develop positive dental habits in early childhood, ensuring a solid foundation for oral health.
When and how do baby teeth fall out?
Baby teeth begin to feel the pressure as soon as an adult tooth is fully formed below it, usually beginning by age 6 or 7. Starting with the incisors (front teeth) and working back, each tooth is lost and replaced until the process is complete by age 10 or 12 (when the 2nd molars are lost). Baby teeth are effectively pressed out by the adult teeth, which cause the baby-tooth roots to dissolve.
What to do about a loose baby tooth?
Ideally, nothing! A loose tooth will fall out on its own or (since they are the only ones who truly know how loose it is) the child will pull it out themselves. But, if it’s really wiggling and needs to be removed, grip it firmly with a clean handkerchief and rock it out gently.
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Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.