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The importance of first teeth

First teeth (milk or baby teeth) are developmentally important for children’s speech, eating, smile and confidence. It is important to keep teeth healthy to avoid pain, infection and the need to remove teeth under general anaesthetic. It is important for children to keep teeth until they fall out naturally (the last baby tooth will not normally fall out until the child is about 12 years old). Early loss of milk teeth can lead to crowding when adult teeth come into the mouth. This may lead to a need for orthodontic treatment in later years.