You’ll experience many “firsts” with your baby. One of them will be a first tooth, which will arrive sometime between 6 months and 1 year. By the time your child turns 3, they’ll have a full set of 20 baby teeth.
You may think these teeth are not important because they’re just going to fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth — and a gift from the tooth fairy — but these teeth play a vital role in your child’s development. Here are five reasons why caring for your child’s baby teeth is as important as caring for their permanent teeth:
Reason #1: Baby teeth can be painful when they first come in
When your child’s first teeth come in, you’ll want to celebrate the milestone. But, you’ll also want to soothe their pain and fussiness. This is often the first time you care for your child’s teeth or think about caring for them. Massaging their gums with a clean figure or gauze pad helps reduce their soreness.
Reason #2: Baby teeth can get cavities
Again, you may think that it’s not a problem to have a cavity in a tooth that’s just going to fall out, but cavities are painful! Pain can interfere with your child’s ability to focus in school, enjoy activities, and eat or drink. To prevent cavities, start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in. When they can start brushing on their own, around age 6, teach them proper brushing techniques and make sure they brush twice a day. Limit their sugary snacks and drinks.
Reason #3: Baby teeth help your child bite, chew, and speak
It’s obvious that teeth help you chew, but they also provide structure for lips, tongue, and cheeks when making sounds and eventually speaking. Baby teeth also provide support for developing facial muscles that form your child’s beautiful smile.
Reason #4: Caring for baby teeth can set the path for good oral habits that will last a lifetime
While the first baby teeth start to fall out around age 6, although it’s different for every child, your child won’t have all their permanent teeth until around age 21. If you don’t start early teaching them the importance of caring for their teeth, it will be harder to establish good oral hygiene habits, which are essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Reason #5: Baby teeth save space in the jaw and promote proper development of adult teeth
Those baby teeth are doing more than just looking cute in your child’s mouth; they’re holding the place for the permanent teeth that are growing in the gums. If your child loses a tooth because of decay, the neighboring teeth move into that space, not leaving enough room for the permanent tooth to come in naturally. This can cause crooked teeth or crowding in your child’s mouth.
At Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry in Rancho Cucamonga, California, we are experts at helping calm children to make their dental visits anxiety-free and even fun! We have toys and TVs in a colorful, playful environment to put your child, and you, at ease.Back to Blog Page