• 26 MAY 16
    • 0

    Why Treat Baby Teeth? They’ll Fall Out Eventually, Right?

    Six children laying on the grass smilingAs your children gets older, their baby teeth will begin to fall out, making room for permanent adult teeth. Many parents believe that this means we don’t have to stress over problems with baby teeth, because the permanent teeth will eventually replace them anyway. This thinking could cause your child a lifetime of dental problems. Baby, or primary, teeth hold great importance in the development of our children’s eating habits, speech development, and future dental health. Dr. Kimmy feels that all parents should help their small children take care of their baby teeth, so that they can grow up with beautiful healthy smiles. To learn more about the importance of taking care of baby teeth, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy, call our Manhasset, NY, pediatric dentist office today at (516) 365-4-KID.

    Facts About Baby Teeth

    Most children, by the time they reach three years old, will have a full complement of 20 primary teeth. These teeth are already present in your child’s jaws at birth, and begin to erupt between the ages of six months and a year old. For a handy chart that details the scheduled eruption of baby teeth, check out mouthhealthy.org. This chart shows the order your child’s teeth should erupt in, and around what age. It also shows when most children typically lose each tooth, as well as when the permanent teeth should erupt.

    The Importance of Baby Teeth

    Baby teeth hold great importance for our children. They help them learn how to chew, fostering good nutrition. They aid in the development of speech, helping them pronounce words correctly. They form a beautiful smile, which helps raise the child’s level of self-esteem. Perhaps most importantly, they hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth coming in behind them.

    If a child loses a primary tooth too early, the permanent teeth could drift into the resulting space. This will cause problems when other permanent teeth erupt, leading to crowding and crooked teeth. So while baby teeth may not seem terribly important, just remember that taking good care of them could save you a fortune in orthodontic bills down the road.

    Taking Care of Baby Teeth

    The American Dental Association recommends that you bring your child to Dr. Kimmy for his or her first dental visit within six months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than the child’s first birthday. The doctor will examine your child’s mouth, checking for signs of early tooth decay or other dental problems. She will show you how to correctly care for your little one’s teeth, and how to identify adverse habits that can affect your child’s dental health, such as thumb sucking.

    Taking care of your child’s oral health will start before the first tooth ever erupts. After feedings, you will need to wipe the baby’s gums clean with a damp cloth or piece of gauze. This will help keep your little one’s mouth free from harmful bacteria.

    When the child’s first teeth come in, until about the age of three, parents should brush their children’s teeth with a child size toothbrush and a small smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Between the ages of three and six years old, increase the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. At this point, you can let your child brush his or her own teeth, but continue to supervise and make sure your child brushes correctly. When your kiddo has two teeth that touch, you can begin flossing as well.

    Call Us Today

    Taking care of your child’s baby teeth is very important. To learn more about caring for primary teeth, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy, call our Manhasset, NY, dental office today at (516) 365-4-KID.

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