Totem Lake Pediatric Dentistry

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The Importance of Baby Teeth

Your child’s first set of teeth, often called “baby teeth,” might seem temporary, but they’re incredibly important. They play a big role in your child’s health, growth, and happiness.

Just like your own teeth, your child’s baby teeth need both professional and at-home care. Tooth problems can happen at any age, so it’s smart to visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth showing up, and definitely by the time they turn one. During these visits, the dentist not only checks for cavities but also teaches you how to help your child develop good oral hygiene habits that last a lifetime.

Why are baby teeth so important?

By the time most kids are three years old, they have a full set of baby teeth. These teeth do a lot of things:

  • Help your child chew well for good nutrition.
  • Assist in learning how to talk.
  • Give your child confidence with a beautiful smile.
  • Let them focus and learn in school without tooth pain.
  • Guide the way for permanent teeth when they’re ready to come in.

What if baby teeth aren’t cared for?

Baby teeth can get cavities, just like adult teeth. If not taken care of, cavities can lead to infections. Tooth decay in baby teeth is serious and can spread quickly, causing pain and other problems, especially since kids’ immune systems are still developing.

If a tooth gets infected and needs to be removed, the dentist might suggest putting in a space maintainer to keep other teeth in place. If the space isn’t saved, nearby teeth might shift, leading to crowded teeth and orthodontic issues when permanent teeth start growing.

The most important thing in taking care of your child’s baby teeth is leading by example. Early on, help them get into the habit of brushing and flossing regularly. Healthy teeth also make dental visits easier, teaching your child that there’s nothing scary about going to the dentist.