Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?
Your baby’s teeth do more than look cute for Instagram posts. Baby teeth play an important role in your child’s dental health and are the building blocks for healthy adult teeth.
Baby teeth are nature’s braces. They hold the spaces where your child’s adult teeth will grow into, starting around age 6. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the larger adult teeth can drift into the empty space, resulting in crowded or crooked teeth.
How do I take care of my baby’s teeth?
It’s never too soon to begin good dental hygiene habits. Wiping baby’s gums with a cool damp cloth or gauze even before teething sets you and baby up for developing good habits. Tooth decay can happen in baby teeth so keeping them clean is really important.
Children 3 years and under should have their teeth brushed twice daily with a soft toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. As soon as your child has two teeth touching their teeth should be brushed twice daily.
For children 3-6 years of age continue brushing twice daily, morning and night, with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Parents should continue brushing their children’s teeth until they feel their child is able to brush thoroughly on their own and won’t swallow the toothpaste.
When should my child start seeing the dentist?
Anytime after your child gets his first tooth but before his first birthday is ideal for the first visit to the dentist. This visit is simply a “well-baby” checkup. The dentist will check for any cavities and give you advice on how to clean your baby’s teeth. If thumb sucking or other habits have you concerned, the dentist can help you with strategies on how best to handle these common behaviors.