Skip to main content

Think Baby Teeth Don't Matter? Think Again!

By Jill Feilmeier on November 2, 2011 in Kid's Health

baby teeth

Nothing can warm your heart like that gap-toothed grin on your little cherub. But, go to brush those pearly little pegs and your angel clamps down tight on that toothbrush making it next to impossible to clean them well.

Not to worry – those baby teeth don’t last anyway. Wait a couple years and they’ll be gone. Then you can get to work on keeping those brand new permanent teeth perfect. Right?


Amazingly, the state of your little one’s baby teeth really does matter. Cavities are caused by bacteria called Strep Mutans. Those bacteria set up shop in your baby’s mouth if you don’t regularly brush their teeth and keep them away from sugary foods and drinks. Once those bacteria have colonized, it’s really hard to make it go away. The bacteria remain, even though the baby’s teeth fall out. When those beautiful new permanent teeth start popping through, the bacteria are there to attack the enamel and cause cavities.

You can brush the new teeth ’til the cows come home and it may not make a difference. The bacteria are there, and they aren't going away. The beautiful new permanent teeth are doomed.

So, take care of that precious little grin, even though those baby teeth aren’t there to stay. Brush them morning and night with a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Don’t put sweet drinks in the bottle or sippy cup. Make sure the only thing that goes in the bottle after brushing at night is water.

Baby teeth do matter. How well you take care of them can make a difference for the rest of your child’s life.

Discover the small changes in dental habits that can have big effects on a child’s oral health. Visit to learn more.