If baby teeth just fall out eventually, does taking care of them really matter? The answer is a resounding yes! It may be easy to underestimate the importance of primary teeth, but keeping them healthy will benefit your child in numerous ways.
Not only does your child need their teeth for biting and chewing, but a full set of pearly whites is also essential to their language development and facial structure formation.
While it is true that baby teeth do eventually fall out when it is time for a permanent tooth to come in, if baby teeth are lost too early, problems can follow. A primary tooth is meant to hold a proper space for a permanent tooth. If it is lost prematurely (knocked out during an injury or extracted due to decay), the space that was originally being reserved for an adult tooth may narrow. The teeth on either side of the lost tooth can begin to shift towards the space if a permanent tooth does not erupt in time. In turn, this can cause the permanent tooth to grow in crooked.
Protecting and caring for your child’s baby teeth begins at day one. Your baby’s primary teeth are already hidden beneath his or her gums at birth. Practicing good oral hygiene may begin as simply washing your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth before bed. One of the most important rules to follow is to never allow your baby or toddler to fall asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth. As soon as you see your child’s first tooth erupt, usually at or before 12 months of age, schedule a dental appointment. Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day and floss as soon as there are two teeth that touch. Showing your child the importance of tending to your dental health is an invaluable lesson that can significantly protect their smile as they grow older.
Have you scheduled your child’s six month cleaning? Is it time for a first dental visit? Call Salt Run Family Dentistry. We create a fun, comfortable and rewarding environment when it comes to pediatric dentistry!