While it is true that baby teeth do eventually fall out, it is also true that they are important to a child in the meantime. Primary or baby teeth are placeholders until the permanent teeth grow in. If one is lost prematurely, the others can shift into the empty space and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting. This often leads to a crooked smile in the future. In addition, a decayed tooth can cause discomfort for a child and can become abscessed. Left untreated, dental decay in baby teeth can result in a broad range of functional impairments that have far-reaching implications for growth, development, school performance, and peer relationships.