Although primary (baby) teeth don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s first teeth play an important role in development. While they are in place, these primary teeth help your child speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If a child loses a tooth prematurely, due to damage or decay, nearby teeth may intrude on that space, possibly resulting in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth. While the front 4 teeth last until 6 to 7 years of age, the back teeth (canines and molars) are not replaced until age 10 to 13. Additionally, your child’s general health is affected by the health of the teeth and gums.