Baby teeth start to come in between the ages of six and 12 months. By the age of three, most kids typically have all of their baby teeth. Your child’s baby teeth play a major role not only in helping your kids munch and crunch on healthy foods but also in helping them develop healthy smiles as adults.
While baby teeth may not seem very important because they eventually fall out to make room for grown-up teeth, your child’s baby teeth are important. Here are a few things you need to know about your child’s chompers and and what you can do to keep them healthy and strong.
Baby teeth are a blueprint for grown-up teeth
Your child’s baby teeth serve as a type of blueprint for their grown-up teeth. Consider them like lines in a parking lot. By following the lines, your child’s permanent teeth know exactly where to park without getting too close to the other teeth. Unfortunately, sometimes kids can lose a baby tooth too soon. Natural tooth loss typically begins around age six, but accidents happen and your child may lose their baby tooth too soon. This may cause a permanent tooth to come in incorrectly, causing problems with crowding or bite alignment. Fortunately, your child’s pediatric dentist can help to correct crowding problems before they cause additional issues.
Baby teeth have enamel, but it’s not as strong
Your enamel is the protective coating on your teeth that helps to keep your teeth safe. It’s considered the hardest substance in the human body, and for good reason. You need to your teeth to eat and to get quality vitamins and nutrients. Enamel is meant to protect your teeth for as long as possible. It makes sense then that, because baby teeth are temporary, the enamel on them is more vulnerable.
While this might not seem like a problem at first, many children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. Those who has cavities as kids are also more likely to develop cavities on their permanent teeth.
To help protect your child’s enamel, make sure that you’re limiting their sugar intake. The CDC also recommends that your child brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day to keep plaque at bay. It’s also recommended to make sure that your child is drinking the recommend amount of water. Water not only keeps you hydrated but it also washes away sugars and food particles from your teeth before the bacteria in your mouth has a chance to snack on it.
Baby teeth need professional cleaning
Just like grown-up teeth, baby teeth need to be seen by a local pediatric dentist regularly to help keep them clean and healthy. While at the pediatric dentist, your child’s teeth are cleaned of plaque and tartar to help reduce the risk of cavities. It only takes around 24 hours for plaque to harden into tartar, and only a pediatric dentist can remove tartar from your child’s teeth.
Pediatric dentists don’t just clean your child’s teeth, though. During your child’s dentist appointment, their pediatric dentist will examine their bite and look for any problems with your child’s jaw, gums, or oral tissue. Kids dentists may also screen your child for oral cancer by massaging the underside of their jaw and feeling for anything out of the ordinary.
Baby teeth benefit from certain foods
It turns out fruits and veggies aren’t just great ways to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy and happy. They also help to keep your teeth healthy and strong, too. Foods that are rich in magnesium and calcium can help to strengthen your child’s tooth enamel, both in their baby teeth and their permanent teeth, which can help to reduce their risk of cavities. Apples and celery also act as natural toothbrushes that gently scrub and floss at the surface and sides of the teeth as you chew, removing plaque and sugars from your teeth.
Your child’s baby teeth play an important role in the development of good oral health, and it’s essential to keep them healthy and strong. One of the best ways to do just that is to make sure your child is seeing a local pediatric dentist regularly. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Dulles, Sterling, South Riding, or the surrounding areas, Smilez Pediatric Dental Group is the clinic for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.