pediatric dentist ashland oregonWhat’s the deal with baby teeth? Why is it necessary to have two sets of teeth when one set of teeth seems like it would do the job?

Well, baby teeth act as place holders for adult teeth. As a child’s jaw grows, baby teeth help to keep the jaw structured and prepped for the bigger, adult teeth that come later.

Secondly, baby teeth help babies get more nutrition. At some point, breastmilk and formula just don’t cut it nutrition-wise for babies. Around that time, the baby teeth begin to come in so that babies/toddlers can eat a more varied diet and benefit from a wider assortment of foods.

Dr. White‘s, grandma was born with a third set of teeth, called prenatal or natal teeth. Being born with a third set of teeth is extremely rare and a dentist is lucky to ever actually get to see a case of prenatal teeth during his/her career. Most likely, prenatal teeth will be just the lower central incisors (the bottom two front teeth). If they do not have a root then the teeth are called “enamel pearls.” If there is no root, or there is a chance that the prenatal teeth could fall out and block a baby’s airway, commonly the teeth will be pulled so that the risk of the infant choking is removed.

Post written by: Lauren White | Media Manager at White Dental Studio in Ashland, OR

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