Why Are Baby Teeth Important?
There are many parents out there who question the importance of baby teeth. They figure they are going to fall out, why fight with my kid about brushing, or fill a cavity. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s just the opposite and the best thing you can do for your child is encourage them and make it an important part of their daily routine. Taking good care of baby teeth starts when they are 1st born, wiping the gums after breast or bottle feedings with a damp cloth and continuing with a toothbrush once there 1st tooth pops out. These mini chompers are just as crucial to your child’s health as adult teeth are. These baby teeth start to erupt around 6 months to 1 year, usually in the front 1st, by age 3 they should have a full set of 20 baby teeth. These teeth are referred to as “nature’s braces”; they hold the space in the jaws for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early due to decay or trauma, it can cause permanent teeth to drift into an open space. This would make it more difficult for adult teeth to have enough space to erupt, leading to crowding and, or crooked teeth.
Other extremely important reasons include:
- Good nutrition, allowing for good chewing
- Self- Esteem, smiling
- Allows a child to concentrate in school and not be distracted by a toothache
- You’re teaching your child good life long habits to provide them with a good dental future
How can you protect your child’s baby teeth? Simple, follow these few guidelines below:
- Proper daily homecare: Brushing their teeth 2x daily for 2 minutes, floss daily and use fluoride toothpaste and rinse once your child can spit out properly. * parents should continue to help until child is about 7 years old. (Refer to my blog about Healthy Mouth for your baby and toddler and brushing tips.)
- Consider their eating and drinking habits and how often they are exposing their teeth to different sugars (good or bad).
- Bring them to their dentist for routine visits every 6 months – starting no later than age 3
- Follow recommended treatment and evaluation options; including X-rays, dental sealants, restorative needs and orthodontic treatment.