While we all know how important it is to keep our teeth clean and healthy, there are often misconceptions in regards to the importance of keeping baby teeth clean. Many people may tell themselves that it’s not as important to clean baby teeth as it is to clean permanent, adult teeth because baby teeth will eventually fall out.
However, the health of adult teeth, as well as the habits formed by regularly taking care of your teeth, are largely dependent on the health and care of baby teeth, making it extremely important to take care of teeth at a very young age.
How Early Should I Start Taking Care of My Child’s Teeth?
Most experts actually recommend that parents begin an oral health regimen even before baby teeth emerge. Gently wiping a baby’s gums with a wet washcloth after eating removes surface bacteria. Once baby teeth first begin to emerge, switch to a soft toothbrush to use on the teeth and the gums. It’s okay to use just water to clean the teeth at first, and you can eventually switch to a toothpaste with fluoride around two years of age.
Why Is It Important to Keep Baby Teeth Clean?
Baby teeth are extremely important to the health and development of a growing child. Healthy teeth allow for your child to chew without pain, smile a radiant smile, and learn to speak properly. You wouldn’t want your kid to have dental issues with their baby teeth, even if those issues were to go away with the permanent teeth! Clean and pain-free teeth lead to a happier, healthier childhood.
Baby teeth, however, do affect the development and placement of adult teeth. They hold the place in the jaw for the permanent teeth that grow beneath the gums. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth can drift beneath the gums and cause crowding or spacing in the adult teeth when they try to come in.
Baby teeth are just as prone to cavities as adult teeth. Over 50 percent of children are affected by some form of tooth decay before the age of five due to improper tooth care.
Aside from the immediate physical benefits of caring for baby teeth, it is essential to have your child develop positive oral health habits from a very young age. Starting at an age where they can handle it on their own, making sure your kid brushes their teeth at least two or three times a day will have them get used to a proper oral care regimen. When they’re old enough, have them introduce flossing and mouthwash into the routine to help develop even stronger habits. Plus, this gives them the tools and skills necessary to maintain a healthy smile.
Looking for a dentist for your growing child? Allegiance Dental Associates delivers the kind of gentle, trusting care you want for your family. Contact us today to set up an appointment.