What Parents Need to Know About Baby Teeth

Since your child’s baby teeth will fall out anyway, it might seem safe to assume that you don’t need to take care of them as much as permanent teeth. However, if your child’s baby teeth develop cavities or fall out prematurely, your child might suffer from dental issues well into adulthood. Here’s why your child needs to practice good dental hygiene while they still have their baby teeth.

Baby Teeth Allow for Proper Chewing

There’s a reason why your child’s baby teeth fall out one at a time instead of all at once. If your child loses several teeth, they’ll have difficulty eating and chewing normally. You don’t want to wait for their permanent teeth to arrive so they can start eating normally again. Encourage your child to brush on a daily basis so they don’t suffer from cavities or tooth loss.

Baby Teeth Act as a Placeholder for Permanent Teeth

Essentially, your child’s baby teeth are placeholders for the permanent teeth that grow underneath. When your child loses a tooth prematurely, the placeholder becomes an empty space. This means that there’s nothing keeping their teeth in place, which can result in shifting, crowding and issues when the permanent teeth start to grow in. Your child needs to take care of their teeth so they don’t fall out until their adult teeth are ready to arrive.

Taking Care of Baby Teeth Promotes Good Hygiene

It’s never too early for your child to learn about good dental hygiene. When you teach your child to clean their baby teeth, you’ll teach them skills that they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Here’s a few ways you can encourage good dental hygiene:

  • Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day and flosses their teeth daily. Once they get into the habit, they’ll do it automatically without needing their parent to remind them.
  • Feed your child a healthy diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. If your child eats sweets or drink soda, remind them to brush their teeth afterward.
  • Point out what happens if your child doesn’t take care of their teeth. Your child’s pediatric dentist could help you educate your child about issues like cavities and gingivitis.
  • Take your children to the pediatric dentist twice a year for regular cleanings. This keeps their teeth clean and shows them the importance of going to the dentist.
  • Supervise your children until they’re old enough to brush their teeth on their own. Otherwise, they might be tempted to “forget” to brush and wash the toothpaste down the drain.
  • Model good behavior in front of your child. Your child won’t see the importance of brushing twice a day if you don’t make the same commitment.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today

Visiting the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience. At Hines Little Smiles, we make your child’s appointment fun, easy and comfortable so they build positive associations with the dentist’s office. Your child will feel like they’re going on an adventure when they visit our fairy tale-themed office. If they feel uncomfortable or anxious, our team of professionals will ease their worries and help them relax during their appointment.

Currently, we’re accepting appointments for new and returning patients. Request an appointment today with the handy online form on our website. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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A dentist demonstrates to a child patient a large dental model for educational purposes during a consultation.