Baby Teeth are Important Too!
Let’s start by addressing the question we get most often about baby teeth. “Does it really matter if my baby’s teeth are healthy or not, they’re going to fall out anyways.” YES. We’re going to answer that again because it’s THAT important, Yes it matters!
What Do Baby Teeth Do?
- Help children chew food easily and properly
- Hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums
- Help children speak clearly
- Set the tone for a lifetime full of healthy smiles
When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space. This makes it difficult for other adult teeth to find room to grow in. Proper oral hygiene is important as soon as your baby is born. Yes, as soon as they’re born! Once you establish good oral health habits, they will generally stick. Let’s impress that tooth fairy!
Did you know in 1999, 90,000 children in the State of Tennessee went to bed with a toothache? Out of these 90,000 toothaches, 99% were avoidable and 100% cost more to treat than to prevent. Now, that’s what we call a statistic! Preventative care is key. This means your child’s first pediatric dental visit should be around the age of one and focused on prevention.
So, what can you do to help keep those baby teeth healthy?
- Only give breast milk, formula milk, or water to your baby.
- Avoid sugar filled drinks such as, fruit juice, flavored milk, and carbonated drinks.
- Provide your baby with a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure he or she is getting lots of vegetables, and don’t add sugar to food.
- If you give your baby prepared foods, check that they are sugar-free or do not contain added sugars. Sugars such as lactose, fructose, and glucose are just as harmful.
- Brush and floss your baby’s teeth twice a day, and make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
A few other recommendations include:
- Brushing and flossing your child’s teeth for them until at least age seven.
- Regular six-month pediatric dental check-ups. Remember, preventative care!
- Sealants around age six.
- Orthodontic treatment whenever indicted by your pediatric dentist.
These are just a few tips and recommendations to help keep your newborn’s baby teeth healthy and strong. Make sure to visit your pediatric dentist for more tips on preventative care and keeping your child’s teeth healthy! You don’t want to disappoint the tooth fairy with unhealthy teeth!