So how important are these teeth?
Very important for your child’sdevelopment. Baby (primary) teeth provide the function of chewing during the
years of greatest body growth. These teeth provide an attractive appearance and smile. Primary teeth play a role in speech. From the orthodontic viewpoint primary teeth, especially the molars, help guide the permanent teeth into
Baby teeth will remain on average until 10-13 years of age.
So if your child has a cavity in a baby tooth and the dentist recommends a filling, you should feel confident
that this is the right thing to do to maintain your child’s mouth and restore it to health.
How do I prevent cavities in the baby teeth?
First,take your child to your dentist or pediatric dentist when your child’s first tooth appears, usually around age 6 months. Your dentist and the dental team will give you information about infant dental health and maintaining healthy teeth.
You may be aware that sugar isn’t good for teeth, primary or permanent, but even fruit juices sipped frequently cause tooth decay at an early age. Frequency and stickiness of sugary foods are the main culprits. Sticky foods such as fruit roll ups, raisins, and gummy bears stick to the biting surfaces of the
teeth as well as in between the teeth and lead to cavities. Cavities in primary teeth develop between
Parents need to clean their child’s teeth beginning with the first tooth at age 6 months. Most children at age 8-9 years need parental assistance. If your child has orthodontic treatment, you will
need to supervise their oral hygiene on a daily basis.
So how do I clean my child’s first tooth at 6 months old and beyond?
You can start with a Q-tip, washcloth, or cotton ball. As your child grows, let you child watch you
brush his/her teeth. Avoid strongly flavored toothpaste, especially mint flavored, which is “hot”. But most importantly, see your dentist and dental team and let them show you how to take care of your child’s teeth. Children are changing every day, so don’t assume that if you take good care of your own teeth that you can manage theirteeth on your own. Seek professional advice.