After weeks of watching a baby drool and fuss, spotting that first little tooth popping up provides such a wonderful feeling. Over the next months, more teeth will start emerging — and in a few years, everything will be replaced by two rows of adult teeth.
With that, it seems ignoring milk teeth are fine; these will fall out in time anyway. But baby teeth are incredibly important, not only for the child’s oral health, but also for their general health.
Tooth Decay, Chewing Problems, Fewer Food Options
For one, baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth below waiting to erupt. Healthy ones increase the likelihood of healthy secondary teeth, as decay can transfer from primary to secondary teeth. In fact, some studies show that children who get cavities in their baby teeth have a higher risk of developing cavities in permanent teeth as well.
Without a healthy set of milk teeth a child will have trouble chewing as well, which then limits their options for healthy food.
Caring for Milk Teeth
Apart from taking a trip to the dentist, Moorparkdental.co.uk recommends restricting a child’s access to sugary foods and drinks as it puts the teeth at a higher risk of teeth decay. Limiting sugary foods to meal times will give the healthy saliva a chance to rest and neutralise the acids in the mouth. This is especially important once the milk teeth start appearing at around six months.
Dentists warn not to put a baby to bed with a bottle of milk as well, as this also contributes to tooth decay.
Cleaning their teeth properly twice a day is good practice as well. Because baby teeth and gums are very delicate and sensitive, it is important to use a soft, moistened cloth to wipe down teeth and gums instead of a toothbrush. Starting early will allow the baby to get used to regular teeth cleaning.
Making sure your child is well fed, clothed and cared for properly are important, but giving special care to baby teeth should be top of the list, too. Sure, those teeth may fall out one day, but it is important to remember that not caring for them may lead to troubles later in life.