Little Teeth Work Hard!
posted: Jan 07, 2020.
Why You Should Bother with Baby Teeth
Baby teeth may be tiny, but they sure are mighty. Your child’s baby teeth actually set the stage for their future oral development, and taking care of them will help set the foundation for your child’s long-term oral health.
What is the purpose of primary, or baby teeth?
Aside from being cute, baby teeth actually play a big role in your child’s overall health. Baby teeth help the child chew, speak and smile. That means they contribute to your child’s nutrition, speech development and social development.
When do baby teeth arrive?
Your child’s primary, or baby teeth, are already present in the jaws at birth. They typically begin to erupt through the gums between 6 months and 1 year of age. Most children will have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3! That’s a lot of teeth in such a small mouth! And that’s why taking care of those teeth is so important.
What happens if I don’t take care of my child’s baby teeth?
When baby teeth are not cared for properly, by regular brushing and flossing, the child may develop cavities and/or painful abscesses. When a child has pain in their mouth, they are less likely to eat nutritious meals. They may also have a harder time playing, focusing and learning if they are in pain.
Severe dental decay on a child’s primary teeth can cause damage to the permanent teeth below if a dental abscess spreads below the baby tooth to the permanent tooth.
What happens if a baby tooth has to be extracted early (due to dental caries and decay)?
Many people think that if a baby tooth gets a cavity, it’s no big deal to just take it out and wait for the adult tooth to come in. This may not seem like a big deal, but remember, baby teeth play a major role in your child’s oral development! When a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth underneath can begin to drift into the wrong space, causing adult teeth to come in crooked or crowded and leading to more orthodontic needs. This is why a pediatric dentist will often try to save the baby tooth, rather than extract it.
How can you take care of your child’s primary teeth?
Taking care of your child’s baby teeth doesn’t have to be hard. For infants, begin wiping their gums with a soft wash cloth within a few days after birth. As soon as the first tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing.
Aim to brush the tooth, or teeth, with an appropriately sized toothbrush twice a day. When two teeth are close enough to touch, they need to be flossed at least several times a week to prevent sugar and food from getting trapped between the tight spaces.
The earlier you begin practicing dental hygiene with your infant, the easier it will be and the smoother their first dental visit will go!
When should your child see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends every child be seen by a dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry seeks to help you and your child achieve superior dental health. Our Anderson Pediatric Dentist team strives to provide top-quality dental care in a nurturing and fun environment. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary and having a beautiful smile doesn’t have to be hard. From routine check-ups to dental sealants, cleanings to x-rays, we can take care of all your child’s dental needs. If you are looking for a dental home in the Anderson County or Upstate South Carolina area, call our office to at 760-864-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!