“Baby teeth” refer to the set of primary teeth that erupt during childhood. These teeth naturally fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth, or the teeth that you’ll have for the rest of your life. In the grand scheme of things, it can be easy to assume that baby teeth don’t really matter and therefore don’t need the level of attention and care that adult teeth do. This is an unfortunate misconception. The truth is that baby teeth play several important roles towards your child’s health, development and future smile!
It is important that you do everything you can to properly care for your child’s primary teeth, beginning from the very first tooth that emerges. Compared to adult teeth, these temporary teeth are just as susceptible to decay, infection and other dental issues. Even though they may eventually fall out on their own, untreated dental problems can cause these teeth to fall out prematurely, which can invite a host of unwanted events.
The Valued Roles of a Primary Teeth
There are several reasons why baby teeth need to be kept clean and healthy. A diseased, damaged or decayed baby tooth can fall out too soon and your child may miss out on the following important roles that primary teeth serve:
Oral and Overall Health
Don’t miss the importance of a healthy mouth towards a healthy body. Your oral health and overall health are closely linked. Fostering a healthy child can begin with keeping their mouth free of disease, infection and decay. Did you know that untreated cavities are a top reason why children miss school? Oral health conditions are painful and harmful to a child’s well-being when they are not addressed.
Each tooth plays a role in helping your child develop proper speech habits and correct pronunciation. When a tooth falls out prematurely, this can limit your child’s ability to speak clearly.
We know that our teeth serve the primary job of helping us chew our food. However, a child with decayed or missing teeth can suffer challenges at mealtime. He or she may avoid foods that are nutrient-rich and critical for overall growth and development.
Holding the Place for Permanent Teeth
The baby teeth are considered “placeholders” for the adult teeth to emerge correctly. Losing a tooth too soon or before a permanent tooth is ready to emerge can cause misalignment in an adult smile, leading to orthodontics, jaw problems and more.
Your Role as a Parent
When it comes to pediatric dental care, the responsibility largely falls on the parent, as young children can’t always handle brushing on their own, and they certainly can’t drive themselves to their dental exams. Don’t worry; taking care of baby teeth isn’t difficult. If you are a parent, follow these pediatric dental care tips to protect your child’s health, development and well-being:
- See the dentist twice a year (beginning from age 1 or when the first tooth emerges)
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, for two minutes
- Floss daily
- Limit sugary, sticky and acidic foods and drinks
- Do not allow bottles in bed
- Address thumb sucking or pacifier habits past the age of 3
- Model good oral care habits for your child
Schedule Your Pediatric Dental Visit
At Grateful Dental, we are proud to offer complete pediatric dental care to families in Marietta and the surrounding areas. We recognize the importance of creating a soothing, safe and fun environment for kids so that they develop a positive association with going to the dentist. Our practice offers services ranging from routine cleanings and x-rays to sealants, fillings and more.
If you have a concern or question regarding your child’s oral health, please do not hesitate to ask. We are happy to educate parents on the valued ways you can boost dental health at home and promote healthy smiles as adults. Attending your routine dental visits offers a great opportunity to speak with our dentist as well as detect dental problems at their earliest and most treatable stage. To schedule your child’s dental visit, please call our Marietta office. For your convenience, we can offer family block appointments.