Because a child’s first set of teeth fall out and are replaced by the primary teeth, many parents mistakenly believe there is no need to care for “baby teeth.” However, baby teeth have several important roles.

Speaking
Learning to speak is an important part of a child’s first few years. Without healthy baby teeth, children have difficulty speaking clearly and they may develop a permanent speech impediment.

Chewing
Of course, the primary function of teeth is chewing food. Children with poor dental hygiene may experience pain and difficulty eating solid foods, and as a consequence they may become malnourished. Malnourishment during early childhood can stunt a child’s growth and affect brain development.

Good Habits
Children who are taught how to care for their baby teeth from an early age develop good dental hygiene habits. These habits carry over for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Health
Infected, decaying baby teeth can lead to infections of the face, jaw, or even the brain. In some cases, these infections have caused death.

Permanent Teeth
The permanent teeth use the locations of the baby teeth to guide their growth. If the baby teeth are missing or damaged due to decay, it is difficult for the permanent teeth to grow normally. In addition, if the child’s mouth is infected and full of decaying baby teeth, the permanent teeth may immediately begin decaying as they grow in. In order to develop healthy permanent teeth, it is important that the baby teeth are healthy.

Home Care
Attention to dental hygiene at home is essential. The child’s gums and teeth should be brushed and flossed regularly. The child should not be allowed to nurse on a bottle while sleeping. The child should also not be given sugary juices or soda to drink.

See Our Pineville Family Dentist Today
Most experts recommend that babies visit a children’s dentist as soon as the first tooth comes in, sometime before the child’s first birthday. Rather than visiting any random local dentist office, it is better to find a specialized children’s dentist. Pediatric dentists have received additional training in the special needs of infants, children, and adolescents. Call today to schedule a visit with our trained children’s dentists at our local dentist office.