Baby teeth aren’t temporary, they create the permanence of how your child’s dental health will be for the future.
Baby teeth are super exciting for first-time parents. Once the hardships of getting them to break through and the teething phase are over, most parents give little thought to baby teeth.
While they are a temporary fixture, if they are damaged, develop cavities, or if they aren’t taken very good care of, no harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Baby teeth are extremely important to your child’s overall dental health.
When should your child first see their dentist?
When your child has their first tooth surface, it is a momentous occasion, and it is also a signal that it is time to visit the dentist. Since decay can occur at any age and time, it is critical to have your child’s teeth examined every six months.
The ideal situation is to have your child’s first dental examination by age one. That way your child isn’t going to be intimidated by the dentist going forward. Seeing a dentist early will also help to set up a lifetime of healthy oral habits.
What is the role of baby teeth?
Most children get all their primary teeth by the age of three. The primary teeth are not just essential for chewing and eating, they also:
- Help to promote good nutrition by chewing essential foods
- Aid in speech development
- Provide the basis for a good foundation for permanent teeth to break through
What if you don’t take care of your child’s primary teeth?
If you don’t take good care of your child’s baby teeth, not only are you setting a bad example, you might be doing damage to their permanent ones. If a child gets a cavity early on without care, it will lead to pain and can ultimately result in an infection that can hurt the permanent teeth that are waiting below.
If an infection sets in, a child’s immune system might not be capable of fighting it, which can lead to serious consequences if left undetected.
Good Habits Last a Lifetime
Most importantly, studies show that the habits children develop early tend to follow them throughout adulthood. If you don’t establish good oral hygiene in their younger years, you are predisposing them to a lifetime of poor dental habits and dental health.
If you teach them how to take care of their baby teeth, when the permanent teeth begin to surface, they will have both the knowledge and the skills to take care of them effectively and stave off cavities to maintain their oral health.
Baby teeth might seem like a do-over and unimportant. But, the truth is that a child’s primary teeth are there to teach a child how to care for their teeth when they become permanent.
Teaching them early to visit the dentist regularly, brush and floss with care, and to care about their smile is the only way to ensure that when those permanent teeth are ready to surface, your child is prepared to take care of them.
Pediatric Dentist St. Louis
Your child’s initial oral examination will include a visual examination, charting, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if sedation or anesthesia is right for your child.
Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!