July 9, 2018
Are Baby Teeth Really That Important to My Child?
Primary or baby teeth stay in your child’s mouth for just a few years, so why would they be important? Many parents don’t realize the role baby teeth play in children’s oral health and overall development. Caring for them will ensure your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
Why Are Baby Teeth Important?
We cannot begin to emphasize the importance of maintaining the health of your child’s baby teeth. Healthy baby teeth help with proper speech development because teeth are essential to learning how to form words. Teeth also help in proper chewing and eating, meaning that your child will get the needed nutrition.
Baby teeth maintain the space needed for the adult teeth that will be arriving down the road, guiding them to come in the correct position. They help form a path that the permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Primary teeth also help ensure the healthy development of the jaws and muscles.
Baby teeth falling out too early may compromise your child’s oral health and development. Neighboring teeth may begin to drift into the gap, making it difficult for adult teeth to find the needed room when they come in. That can cause crooked teeth or a crowded mouth. Additionally, tooth decay in baby teeth can result in permanent damage to the developing adult teeth. It is important to start infants off with proper oral care to ensure they enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Caring for Your Child’s Baby Teeth
Caring for your child’s teeth begins at birth. Begin by wiping down your baby’s gum with a warm gauze or cloth after feedings until the first teeth arrive. Begin brushing those tiny pearly whites with a small soft bristle brush designed for infants, and you may use a smear of infant toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice.
Brushing your child’s teeth early on establishes positive oral care habits and gets your child used to the feel of the toothbrush in the mouth. As your child grows, make sure to encourage brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day to keep the baby teeth squeaky clean and bright.
When Should Your Child First See a Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit to the pediatric dentist being within six months of the arrival of the first tooth, and no later than the first birthday. These first appointments allow us to monitor your child’s oral development and help establish a lifetime of oral health.
Children should visit the dentist every six months, just as adults do. That will allow us to identify and treat any condition before it progresses, along with providing any needed preventative treatments to ensure your child’s smile stays healthy.
About Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
We, at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry love caring for our young patients. Our highly trained and child-friendly staff is committed to delivering exceptional care in a happy and pleasant environment. We look forward to partnering with you in caring for your child’s teeth! Call today!