Dental Hygiene Association

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Why Baby Teeth are So Important


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Keeping your teeth clean and maintain good oral health could be one of the most important things you do. You want to try and keep that beautiful smile as long as you possible can. Of course there are alternatives available if you do lose your teeth: implants, dentures, bridges, crowns, etc. but if at all possible, maintaining our natural teeth is the best course of action. In order to do that we’ve got to start rigth away. Which means taking care of our little ones teeth as soon as they start popping through. You might wonder what the point is in brushing and flossing those little baby teeth when they’re just all going to fall out anyway. Here are a few reasons why baby teeth are so important to care for.

Good habits start young
If you can get your children to develop healthy dental habits from a very young age, it will become second nature for them throughout their lives. Oral care can be a hassle, especially before bed when everyone is so tired. It can be tempting to forego the routine and let everyone jump in to bed with dirty mouths. Try to avoid that, as much as possible. Consistent dental care and oral health are extremely important to your baby’s overall well being, as will be mentioned next. Good oral health consists of a five minute process in the morning and the night, at least. This isn’t very long and if you start young, you won’t have to fight them to brush their teeth as they get older. They may even like the routine!

Oral health is the key to overall health
You may be surprised to find out that good oral health doesn’t just affect your mouth. If you have tooth decay or gum disease in your mouth, your saliva can carry the bacteria down into your stomach, filtering into your intestines, liver and kidneys. If left untreated this can cause infection and further problems down the line as the bacteria grows and reproduces. It may take time and you may not even notice it, at first. You’ll just feel like you have a cold which progresses to pseudo feelings of a UTI or other symptoms. By the time you feel the symptoms, the infection will have progressed pretty far. Babies are no different. They can get these infections just like any adult. That’s why oral health is so important!

You don’t want your baby’s teeth to fall out early
It’s true that eventually your child’s teeth are going to fall out in order to make room for the adult teeth to come in. However, it’s crucial that your child’s teeth do not fall out early. These baby teeth are what they need in order to:

  1. learn how to chew and eat effectively
  2. form words and proper vocabulary and pronunciation
  3. hold the space in the gums that will later be where the adult teeth come in.

If you child loses his or her teeth to soon, you may find that even after their adult teeth grow in, they tend to say words in correctly or not chew their food enough before trying to swallow it and the adult teeth may grow in incorrectly. Poor health care can lead to premature loss of baby teeth.

You may think that all that fuss over cleaning baby teeth is not that big of a deal but it is far more important than you realize as you can see from the points above. During each teeth cleaning session, make sure that your baby or child has their teeth brushed in circular motions as they move from one side to the other. The tops and backs are important to clean also as well as the tongue. Flossing may prove to be more of a challenge but if your child’s teeth are at all crowded, you will need fish out any plaque that’s built up through the day. Getting a good flavored tooth brush and making dental time a fun experience can help children look forward to the experience. You may find that they start reminding you that they have to brush their teeth. There are also teeth cleaning apps that you can use for your child if they have a hard time focusing.

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