While baby teeth will eventually fall out, they play an important role in your child’s physical, social, and emotional development. Apart from helping them eat well and speak clearly, baby teeth also enable adult or permanent teeth to erupt and grow properly.
Losing a baby tooth too early may cause the other teeth to move or adult teeth to drift into empty space. This can then make it difficult for other permanent teeth to find the right position when they erupt. Kids’ dentists in Cottonwood Heights note that this can lead to crooked or crowded teeth.
Baby teeth will be eventually replaced with adult permanent teeth, but it is still important to take care of them. Early childhood carries or baby bottle tooth decay is your little one’s worst enemy, as this infectious disease can damage the teeth and result in tooth loss.
Here are some of the factors can contribute to early childhood decay:
- A diet high in sugar
- Poor oral hygiene
- Frequent snacking (especially of sweetened and acidic foods and beverages)
- Constant use of sippy cups or baby bottle to soothe your little one (especially during bedtime)
Fortunately, tooth decay can be prevented. It all starts with cleaning your baby’s mouth by gently wiping their gums using a clean washcloth. Once their first teeth erupt, you can proceed to gently brush them using a small baby toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).
Here are a few other things that can help:
- Don’t let your child walk around with a sugary drink (in the bottle or sippy cup) for long periods of time. It’s best to stick with water.
- Teach your child to use a regular cup and introduce the habit between six and 12 months.
- Limit the amount of sugary, sticky, and acidic foods they eat.
- When serving juice, only do so during meals or dilute it with water. It’s best not to serve juice or any sugary beverage at all.
- See a pediatric dentist by age one.
Don’t let tooth decay invade your child’s mouth. Talk with your kid’s dentist to learn more about tooth decay and keeping your child’s teeth healthy and strong.