Many people wonder why it’s important to take care of their children’s baby teeth, also known as milk teeth. The logical argument is that they fall out anyway to make way for adult teeth, so why practice good hygiene habits? However, caring for your child’s baby teeth is crucial for setting them up for good dental health, and good dental hygiene practice for later in life.
They Help Set Up a Healthy Smile
While adult teeth are susceptible to tooth decay and plaque, your baby’s teeth are even more vulnerable. Your child’s baby teeth are there to hold their adult teeth in place – so what happens to baby teeth can severely damage incoming adult teeth.
Sometimes referred to as nature’s braces, if your child’s baby teeth aren’t properly taken care of this could lead to crooked adult teeth. For example, using dummies well after their teeth have come through can cause incorrect positioning of baby and adult teeth. Their upper teeth may be pushed forward, or the top and bottom teeth may not even touch.
If their teeth aren’t cared for, this can lead to baby teeth decaying and needing to be removed long before they are ready. If extracted too early because of decay, the space can be lost causing overcrowding later in life, and may mean braces when their adult teeth come through.
To put it into perspective, some baby molars need to last until 12 years!
Abscesses Aren’t Nice for Anyone – Particularly Young Mouths
If you’re not introducing your child to a good dental routine, this can lead to cavities, tooth decay, toothaches and abscesses – just like adult teeth. It’s not nice for us, and it’s not nice for them.
Healthy Baby Teeth Help with More Than Just Chewing
If you aren’t an expert on teeth, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re not important for anything else besides eating. However, healthy baby teeth are important for learning how to talk properly and quickly, help in jaw development and help to develop a child’s self-esteem.
The best way that you can take care of your children’s baby teeth, is to set a good example from the very start. Introducing your child to good dental habits morning and night will help them, and you, look after their teeth as they develop skills that will carry on into adulthood.
If you have any questions about children’s dental health and how you can introduce your little ones to good habits early one, you’re always welcome to contact the friendly team at Dental on Clarendon.