Why Should I Take Care Of My Kids' Baby Teeth?

Why Should I Take Care Of My Kids' Baby Teeth?

When it comes to having a child, there are so many aspects of their health that you have to worry about, oral health is often one that gets tossed aside. It’s easy to understand how this crucial building block of your child’s health can be overlooked, but you shouldn’t take its importance for granted. 

Your child’s oral health is connected to their overall health. Read on in this blog from My Kids Happy Teeth to find out why you need to care for your child’s baby teeth and how you can do that.

Why It’s Important to Take Care of Baby Teeth

Prevent Tooth Decay & Cavities - If your child does not have an adequate oral hygiene routine, food particles will be left behind in the mouth. Over time, this will contribute to plaque and tartar buildup. 

The bacteria will feed off of left behind sugars and convert them into acids that attack the tooth enamel. This leads to holes known as cavities. Left untreated, tooth decay will become worse and your child can be at risk for a tooth infection.

 A pulpotomy, root canal, or extraction will then be needed. It’s important to preserve the health of your child’s teeth because they need them to maintain an aesthetic smile, be able to speak clearly, chew their food, and maintain space in the mouth. 

Help Jaw Development - When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, it is no longer holding space in the mouth for the permanent tooth to erupt. Because of bone loss, your jaw will become malleable and this will cause changes in your bite.

The surrounding teeth will shift and lean into the space where the tooth used to be. This will cause problems with the eruption of the permanent tooth because it will no longer have any space to come through.

This will likely cause the impaction of the permanent tooth. A space maintainer is needed to hold the space open when a baby tooth is lost too soon. Teeth are also crucial to your child’s facial and jaw development. 

Bone loss will cause changes to the facial structure and can cause a narrow upper airway. This may cause sleep breathing disorders such as sleep apnea over time.

Tips for Taking Care of Baby Teeth

Wipe Newborns’ Gums - Before your child even has teeth, they should have an oral hygiene routine. This should include wiping their gums either with a damp cloth or moist gauze. This will remove bacteria from their mouth and will also prepare them for future toothbrushing. 

Wipe their gums every day starting when your baby is around 3 months old. They may also find this action soothing for when they begin to teethe. You should try to stick to cleaning their gums at the same time each day so you can form a familiar routine that will make transitioning to brushing much easier.

Routine Brushing - Your child’s first tooth will erupt between 6 and 12 months. It may be a little earlier or a little later. Once you notice their tooth erupting, you need to get an infant toothbrush. 

You will need to brush your baby’s tooth (and gums) twice a day (morning and night) with a grain size of fluoride toothpaste. Once they turn 3, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Excess fluoride can cause fluorosis, so be vigilant about not using too much.

Visit the Dentist Regularly - Regular dental checkups and cleanings will catch oral health problems early and can prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your child should start going to the dentist by the time they have their first tooth or turn one year old. From then on, you should return to the dentist every 6 months.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Dental Appointment Today!

If your child is due for a dental cleaning and checkup, contact us at My Kids Happy Teeth today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Engineer or Dr. Raj.

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