Baby Teeth – What price do you put on them?

Raising children can be very expensive, especially in the Greater Vancouver region we reside in. After all, we are situated in one of the best provinces in the country. On average, it is believed that close to a quarter million dollars have to be spent on each child raised by the time they turn 18. Now as a dentist, I have received some interesting questions in the past from parents about their children. “How much should I spend to save a baby tooth?” Like many issues in life – it depends. As a team, my father and I have seen many children at our New Westminster office over the years. A child’s baby (or primary) teeth begin to erupt when they are about 6 months old, and they start shedding when the child turns 6 years old. By 12 years old, the primary teeth may be completely gone. While the primary teeth do not last forever, they deserve to be treated with great care. They are not only fundamental components for eating (biting, chewing, and digestion), but they also help children to speak and smile normally. Proper function of primary teeth ensures children can get the nutrition they need and foster their social interactions with their peers. Can you put a price tag on that? However, primary teeth can also lead to various problems. When primary teeth are lost prematurely due to trauma or dental disease, dental malocclusion can develop. Malocclusion occurs when teeth become misaligned and are not in an ideal position relative to one another. For example, if a primary tooth needs to be removed before the permanent successor is ready to erupt, the remaining primary teeth will likely shift, and in severe cases, they may prevent the eruption of the permanent teeth. Needless to say, this is not good. Crowding is another form of malocclusion in primary teeth. It is often an indication that that the permanent adult teeth will also experience crowding. Crowded teeth are generally much harder to clean well, which could lead to dental diseases like decay and gingivitis. Certain individuals may also be concerned with their appearance and be self-conscious of their smile. Regular dental exams and good dental habits at home are critical for growing children. This is the best way to prevent potentially costly dental treatment in the future. Your child’s overall health and social development will benefit from a healthy mouth that is cared for regularly.   If you have any questions about baby teeth, oral health, or family dental care, please contact us at or call us at 604-522-2425. We care about our community and we are ready to help!]]>