Your dentist often hears new parents ask, “why should I bother taking care of my child’s baby teeth if they’re just going to fall out anyway?” At first glance, that question makes sense. But in actuality, your child needs their baby teeth for a few reasons. In today’s blog post, let’s go over a few of the reasons why your child’s baby teeth are actually quite important.
Why Are Your Child’s Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, act as “nature’s braces,” according to the American Dental Association. If your child prematurely loses a baby tooth, whether it’s due to decay or injury, the teeth on either side of it will very likely drift into the space. When this happens, the adult tooth underneath doesn’t have the proper space to erupt, resulting in crooked teeth that will necessitate orthodontic treatment later on. To save your child the trouble of wearing braces in the future, it’s essential that you prevent the development of cavities that could compromise the health of their primary teeth.
How Can You Take Care of Their Baby Teeth?
Caring for your baby’s teeth starts before their pearly whites even grow in. As soon as you come home from the hospital with your infant, you can begin wiping their gums with a clean, wet washcloth every day. This can prevent the buildup of bacteria that cause infections.
Once your child has a tooth showing, it’s time to brush. Use a soft-bristled child’s toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for infants. This toothpaste should contain little to no fluoride, reducing the risk of fluorosis, a condition that can cause discoloration of the permanent teeth if too much fluoride is ingested in childhood.
While putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice may be convenient in the short term, it can actually damage their teeth down the road. Sugars in juice or milk can remain on your baby’s teeth all night, eating away at their enamel, resulting in a condition called baby bottle tooth decay.
As you can see, taking care of your little one’s baby teeth is still crucial even though they’re going to lose them someday. For more advice on how to take care of your child’s teeth and gums, visit your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Sandberg is a family dentist in Marlton, NJ who graduated second in his class at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1984. Twenty years later, he earned a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry due to his strong dedication to continuing education in many different aspects of dentistry. He enjoys seeing patients of all ages, including very young smiles. To learn more about how to care for your child’s primary teeth, visit Dr. Sandberg’s website.