Why do we need to take such good care of baby teeth? Don’t they just fall out anyway? While baby (also called deciduous) teeth do eventually fall out, keeping them healthy is crucial to the normal development of adult teeth. Like adult teeth, baby teeth help us to chew and speak normally, and are very important for us to function normally everyday.
Many new parents are surprised to learn that the American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends children have their first dental visit by their first birthday. However, it is very important to establish early on a child’s risk for developing cavities. Biological factors and a child’s habits are important elements that help determine this. As family dentists we strive to educate our patients on many topics, including your child’s normal oral development, habits (i.e. thumb sucking), proper oral hygiene, and the link between diet and oral health. While we always make sure Mom and Dad are aware of their child’s risk, we also make sure to educate our little ones on the importance of preventing cavities.
We recommend using a tiny smear of fluoride containing toothpaste on a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush baby teeth as soon as they develop. At age 3, the amount of toothpaste can then be increased to a “pea size” amount. While we encourage children to gain independence brushing their teeth, parents should always help them to ensure their child’s teeth and gums are getting adequately cleaned!
At our West Caldwell dentist office, our top priority is maintaining our patient’s oral health by preventing cavities and diseases of the bone and gums…even in baby teeth!