We have a surprising number of parents ask why baby teeth are so important, since they’re just going to fall out anyway. Yes, your child’s baby teeth are temporary, but there’s no shortage of important reasons why you need to take good care of them anyway!
Perhaps the most important function of baby teeth is to preserve space in a child’s growing jaw for the adult teeth to come in later. While adult teeth are forming, baby teeth are holding their spaces so that they can eventually erupt into the proper positions. Additionally, baby teeth distribute the speaking and chewing forces equally and normally, allowing the jawbone to strengthen.
Another important reason to care for your child’s baby teeth is simply to build a foundation of good oral hygiene. The earlier children are taught to care for their teeth and why oral hygiene is so important, the more it will become second nature for them, building a healthy habit that will follow them into adulthood.
You can begin caring for your child’s oral health even before he or she has teeth. Rubbing a warm, damp cloth over the gums after feedings will rid the mouth of bacteria that can form even if there are no teeth. Once teeth do begin to appear, make sure you start taking care of them right away. Begin brushing with a child-sized toothbrush, using only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
It’s also a good idea to rinse your child’s mouth with water after meals to keep the teeth clean between brushings.
To make an appointment for your child with Dr. Nora Balota, please contact Balota Family Dentistry. Our family dental office is located in Colorado Springs, CO.