The Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth
It's a common misconception that because baby teeth will be lost, they don't require the attention that adult teeth do. In fact, proper care for baby teeth affects more than just those teeth, and more than a child's general oral health as well. Here are some of the reasons that children's dental health is so important:
- Decrease the risk for tooth decay in adult teeth
- Properly holding the space for adult teeth to come in
- Allows proper chewing to develop
- Helps children to speak more quickly and clearly
Your Child's Oral Health
Most dentists recommend that you begin seeing a dentist when your child is around 6 months old, which is typically the age when baby teeth start to emerge from the gums. Tooth decay is the most common health concern of children today, and over half of all children will be affected by it before the age of five. The best way to avoid this is to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, to keep up with your at-home care, and to avoid high amounts of sugar in your child's diet.
If your child loses their baby teeth too quickly because of tooth decay, adult teeth are likely to shift into the empty spaces, causing alignment issues, as well as space issues for their adult teeth. Once the adult teeth have come in, this can create serious dental issues in the future. Misaligned teeth are often not thought of as aesthetically pleasing, and they are more difficult to clean, which often creates a higher risk for tooth decay as an adult as well. You can start gently cleaning your baby's gums before teeth have emerged, and gently brush using a soft, baby-sized toothbrush once the teeth are visible. Establishing these routines early will help your child feel more comfortable with at-home care, and with visiting the dentist at a young age as well.
Contact Your Owings Mills Kids Dentist
If you have any questions, or if you think it's time for your child to visit the dentist, don't hesitate to contact our office today for more information on getting started. We look forward to helping you and your child gain a healthy, happy smile!