You might think that your child’s baby or primary teeth aren’t important, but the pediatric dentists at Greater Houston Pediatric Dentistry know that maintaining the health of these temporary teeth is vital for your child’s oral health. Here is why you should care for your child’s baby teeth correctly.
Benefits from Baby Teeth 1: Helping Your Baby to Chew Food
As your child begins to eat solid foods, the baby teeth are important for chewing these items to prevent choking. If a baby has damaged or decayed tooth, then eating certain foods is difficult, and your child can continue to have chewing difficulties for several years. As a parent, you can care for your baby’s first teeth by using a soft cloth to remove the debris from milk, juice and foods to prevent decay.
Benefits from Baby Teeth 2: Learning How to Make Sounds
Your baby’s teeth are also designed for assisting with normal speech sounds. Your child will learn how to place her tongue on certain areas of her teeth to create sounds or words. When a child has missing teeth or damaged teeth, she can develop speech abnormalities. When your child is a toddler, buy her a tiny toothbrush and mildly flavored toothpaste so that she can brush her own teeth easily.
Benefits from Baby Teeth 3: Having an Attractive Smile
Having an attractive smile is important for children, and if a child has healthy teeth, then she will exude self-confidence at home and at school. In addition to brushing teeth after meals and snacks, teach your child how to use dental floss to remove additional bacteria that can cause cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
Benefits from Baby Teeth 4: Avoiding Irritation in the Soft Oral Tissues
When a child has decayed baby teeth, the bacteria can spread to the gums and other soft oral tissues. This can lead to serious health issues with inflammation in the mouth that can cause problems with the alveolar bones and jawbone. The adult tooth buds are already in your child’s gums, and it is also possible for these tooth buds to develop an infection. Help your child to remove additional food particles by using an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized water.
Benefits from Baby Teeth 5: Preventing Jaw Abnormalities
The teeth in a child’s mouth help with maintaining the position of the jaw to prevent abnormalities later. Some adults develop temporomandibular joint disorder that causes pain in the jaw’s joints. This type of facial problem can cause additional issues from headaches, breathing problems and sinus congestion. Make sure that your child doesn’t engage in bad habits such as sucking the thumb that can change the position of the jaw.
Benefit from Baby Teeth 6: Avoiding Other Health Conditions
When a child has excessive amounts of oral decay, it can affect the body’s internal organs. Some researchers believe that the bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream to damage the body’s blood vessels, arteries or heart. Improve the strength of your child’s baby teeth by making sure that she drinks fluoridated water or uses fluoridated mouth rinses.
7: Avoiding Dental Malocclusions
Your child’s primary or baby teeth are designed for protecting the underlying tooth buds that will erupt later in life to create a permanent smile. If these teeth are damaged, missing or out of place, then the adult teeth may not erupt in the proper position, and this can lead to orthodontic issues in the future. If your child has misaligned baby teeth, then visit a pediatric dentist to learn more about early treatment for dental malocclusions.