The Importance of Your Child’s Primary Teeth
Parents will agree that their babies’ first smiles are a delight to see and experience. These smiles, however, can quickly turn to discomfort, tears, and other medical issues in the absence of good oral hygiene, which should start as early as when your baby is born.
Tooth decay in young children is prevalent worldwide; in the United States alone, more than 40% of children experience tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten. There is a misconception that babies’ and young children’s oral hygiene is not as important as that of older children or adults, but the opposite is true. Your baby and toddler’s primary teeth are essential for the development of adult teeth and can play an essential role in lifelong oral health.
What Are Primary Teeth?
It might come as a surprise, but the crowns of the 20 primary teeth, also commonly known as “baby teeth,” are almost completely formed at birth. The four front teeth, two upper and two lower are usually the first to erupt as early as six months after birth. After that, the remaining teeth gradually erupt until the age of three, when most children have a full set of primary teeth.
How Important Are Primary Teeth?
For the first six years, your child is not only dependent on their primary teeth for chewing and eating, but these teeth also contribute to the healthy development of your child’s jaws and muscles. In addition, primary teeth play a significant role in helping with proper word formation, pronunciation, and maintaining the space required for adult teeth.
Steps To Take Care of Your Child’s Baby Teeth
Oral care is necessary from the time your baby is born. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth.
- Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day, morning and night, as soon as they begin to come into the mouth with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Schedule an appointment with a children’s dentist within the first six months of your baby’s first tooth.
- Brush your toddler and young child’s teeth thoroughly twice per day with a child-size toothbrush, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Supervise your child’s brushing and make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste
- Clean between the teeth as soon as your child has two teeth that touch.
How Can a General Dentist for Children Help?
A children’s dentist is a dentist concerned with the overall oral health of babies as they grow into their teenage years and they are specialists in their field. Your kid’s dentist will help your child take care of their baby and adult teeth to ensure the best oral health for a lifetime.
Don’t wait to schedule your child’s dental appointment, contact our office today and let our dental team help bring about healthy smiles for a lifetime!