The Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth
Sometimes helping a young child to brush their teeth can feel like an impossible task. Many kids don’t like to sit still while you clean their teeth. But, taking care of your child’s baby teeth is important to their dental health both now and in the future. Children’s Dental Center is your children’s dentist in the Indianapolis area. We want to help you learn how to best care for your children’s baby teeth. We explain why caring for primary teeth is so vital, and we also provide tips for getting the work done. We commit ourselves to helping children develop healthy habits and attitudes about dental care so they can experience a lifetime of confident smiles.
Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth
Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, you still need to care for them. Your child’s baby teeth have a profound effect on their physical, social, and even emotional development.
First, caring for baby teeth is important because it fosters good nutrition. When a child has healthy baby teeth, they can chew more diverse and healthy foods. Baby teeth also affect your child’s ability to speak and pronounce all the sounds needed to talk. This, along with your child’s appearance, may affect a child’s self esteem. A healthy mouth is a pain free mouth. Caring for your child’s baby teeth will allow him or her to play and learn without a distracting ache in his or her mouth. Finally, teaching your young child to care for his or her primary teeth teaches habits that will affect your child’s oral health for the rest of his or her life. Also, baby teeth act as placeholders in the jaw while adult teeth develop; they work to guide adult teeth in. When baby teeth are healthy, permanent teeth are more likely to develop and come in straight.
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Challenges to Caring for Baby Teeth
Getting some kids interested in dental hygiene is like pulling teeth. They would rather be exploring, running, and playing. It can also be difficult to see inside a child’s mouth to be sure that they removed all the leftover food debris and bacteria. For some kids, sugary food is the only thing they’ll eat without complaining, which isn’t good for healthy teeth. All these challenges to caring for a child’s baby teeth can feel daunting. But, with some patience and some tips, you’ll be able to help your child achieve a healthy smile.
Tips for Caring for Baby Teeth
- When children are too young to brush on their own, brush their teeth for them. Laying them on their back can make it easier to see their teeth and reach all the areas of their mouth. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to protect their teeth. Try to brush two times a day. Brush both the front and back of their teeth.
- To make brushing fun, play games with your child. See who can say “ah” the longest. Allow your child to brush your teeth while you brush theirs. The more you can make brushing into a positive experience, the easier it will be to get them to cooperate next time.
- As children start to grow, they can brush on their own with supervision. Help them to use the proper amount of toothpaste so they don’t swallow too much. It can also be helpful if you brush in front of them so they can see you practice important dental care habits. Continue to brush two times a day.
- Choose the right toothbrush. You want one with a small head, soft bristles, and a large handle.
- As soon as children have two teeth that touch, you should begin to floss them daily.
- Avoid sugary drinks and food. This can go a long way in preventing damage and decay. We have a list of foods that aid in your child's dental health.
- If you notice any brown spots or discoloration, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. They can help to treat decay before a tooth becomes permanently damaged or falls out prematurely.
- Form a habit of regular dental check-ups. Even if you don’t notice any problems, your baby should have his or her first dental visit by age one. This will help doctors to catch any problems early. You will also be able to learn about problem areas in your child’s mouth. The staff will also give you more tips for successfully caring for your child’s oral health. If your child is overdue for an appointment, contact us today.
Meet Dr. Edwards
MICHELLE H. EDWARDS, DDS, MSD
Indianapolis Pediatric Dentist Dr. Edwards helps families set the stage for a life-long commitment to oral health in a friendly and approachable manner. She provides a pleasant visit to the dental office, promoting trust and confidence in young patients that lasts a lifetime.