As you know if you’re a parent who’s ever played the role of the Tooth Fairy, baby teeth start falling out pretty early! It’s understandable to think of them as just the “spares” of the mouth but in reality, they’re crucial to the development of healthy permanent teeth. Unfortunately, dental decay is one of the most common childhood diseases in the country. In fact, children are getting more cavities than ever before because they’re exposed to more sugar from an earlier age. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to make sure your children have healthy baby teeth as well as good oral health for life. Keep reading as your pediatric dentist in Castle Rock discusses this issue in more depth.
Why Are Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, serve multiple important functions. When they’re healthy, they help a child chew a variety of foods and learn how to speak properly. Not to mention the confidence a child gets from being able to smile and laugh without the embarrassment of missing teeth.
As mentioned earlier, the other crucial role that primary teeth play is holding space for the permanent teeth. If they’re lost too early due to decay, it can cause the permanent teeth to be crooked or crowded.
How Can You Help Your Child Have Great Oral Health?
Here are just a few ideas to help keep the primary teeth healthy:
- Establish dental care early – Regular checkups will actually accomplish two goals. First, your dentist will be able to catch any potential problems when they’re small and easier to treat. Second, your child will feel comfortable in the dental chair from early on so they won’t develop a fear of the dentist as an adult.
- Sealants – Dental sealants in Castle Rock are an excellent way to protect the back teeth from developing cavities. Sealants are a thin, white, protective coating that prevents cavity-causing bacteria from getting into the pits and grooves of the molars.
- Help with hygiene – This can be a balancing act of encouraging independence by letting your child brush their own teeth and making sure they did an adequate job. Thankfully there are some tools to help, such as electric toothbrushes and flossers for kids. There are also some great apps that teach kids good brushing habits.
- Minimize sugars – Try to reduce snacking and grazing and keep anything sugary to a minimum. This includes juice, soda, dried fruit and candy. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle, as even milk has sugars in it that can cause severe decay when left overnight.
By following these simple guidelines you’re not only ensuring that your children have healthy baby teeth but ultimately that they have a great smile for life!
About the Author
Dr. Layne Benzley is an award-winning pediatric dentist and father of four. He loves that his job allows him to combine his love of dentistry with working with families every day. In addition to providing top-notch dental care for children, he always takes the time to educate parents about their children’s oral health. He can be contacted via his website or at (303) 660-5373.