Primary teeth, also referred to as baby teeth, will eventually fall out, but that doesn't mean that they deserve less care than permanent teeth. Unfortunately, many parents believe this to be the case, but there are a number of important reasons why primary teeth should be taken care of. Here are just four reasons they need to be treated well.

1. Baby Teeth Help Place Adult Teeth

Primary teeth, just like adult teeth, are necessary for chewing and speaking, but they also serve the important function of holding space in the jaw. It is this space that permanent teeth will grow into. If a baby tooth is lost earlier than it should have been, permanent teeth can begin to drift into the space that is left behind.

The result is often crooked or overcrowded teeth, something that will frequently need to be corrected during the teenage years with braces.

2. Decay Can Spread

You might think that a bit of decay on a primary tooth isn't of much importance; after all, those teeth are going to fall out within a few years anyway. However, this is not the case. Decay spreads, and it is possible for it to contaminate one or more of the adult teeth lying beneath the primary teeth.

If you don't regularly take your child in for dental check-ups, this issue might not be caught early, in which case serious complications can arise which are tricky and painful to correct.

3. Infections are Worse for Children

Tooth decay isn't just a problem in and of itself, it also leaves the surface of teeth and the area around the gums more susceptible to further oral health issues. For example, bacteria can enter, then lead to an infection or abscess.

These kind of infections can be serious, regardless of your age, and should always be treated. Unfortunately, they are much more serious for children since they won't have fully developed immune systems. This means that they will find it harder to fight the infection, especially if it spreads.

4.(Good) Old Habits Die Hard

Finally, it just makes sense to start instilling good oral health practices as early as possible. If your child isn't taking care of their teeth, they are more likely to neglect them when the primary ones eventually come in.

Neglecting primary teeth can lead to serious problems later down the line, so make sure you make your child brush regularly, avoid excessively sugary foods and drinks, and visit the dentist every six months.