We hear it all the time. Do baby teeth even matter?
Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! Baby teeth matter and we are going to tell you exactly why these little teeth are so important.
Your child’s primary teeth, often called their baby teeth, play a major role in their growth and development. We aren’t just talking about their oral health, here. We are talking about their overall, full-body, lifelong development and health.
Baby teeth help your child eat and chew. They allow your child to eat a more balanced and varied diet, enabling them to receive the proper nutrition they need to grow and develop, both physically and mentally. Without teeth, the child cannot eat all solid foods and will not be able to break it down sufficiently for the body to absorb all the nutrients.
Your child’s baby teeth aren’t just for cuteness. They actually help your child’s speech. The teeth play an important role in speech development and aiding the child in learning to form certain letter sounds. The tongue, lips and cheeks deflect off teeth when forming sounds. When teeth are not there, they cannot assist in the formation of the correct pronunciation of sounds, possibly leading to speech impediments.
Who doesn’t love seeing a baby smile with just two front teeth? Those small little teeth are actually paving the way for your child’s permanent smile. Baby teeth take up space in the mouth and act as space holders in the jaw bone for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, or has to be removed because of decay, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty spaces, making it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can lead to more crooked teeth and more costly orthodontic treatment later on.
The tooth structure provides support for the child’s developing facial muscles, giving shape to your child’s face.
Focus and Attention:
A child in pain cannot focus on learning, playing and exploring the world. Dental pain from a decaying tooth can interfere with their ability to pay attention in school, can cause them to miss more school, and can affect their academic performance and grades.
Decayed teeth can greatly affect a child’s self-esteem as it affects their social interactions with peers at school or in other social settings. A child that is embarrassed by their teeth may be hesitant to speak and engage with peers, may not want to smile and may have a harder time interacting with others. This can all lead to less confidence and lower self-esteem.
Check out this video from the ADA on why baby teeth are so important: Watch Video
As parents, it’s our job to help our children be happy and successful. Taking care of their baby teeth is an important part of helping them thrive! So, what can you do to care for your child’s primary teeth?
- Teach your child to develop good oral health care habits with their primary (baby) teeth. These early habits will help them keep those permanent teeth healthy for life!
- Limit juice and sugary drinks. Make water the beverage of choice.
- Do not put anything other than milk or water in a bottle.
- For infants, begin cleaning their mouth during the first few days after birth. Wipe gums with a clean, moist washcloth. Decay can occur as soon as teeth erupt, so start taking care of baby teeth as soon as you see them!
- For young children, start brushing teeth as soon as they come into the mouth. Brush twice a day, using a small amount of toothpaste- about the size of a grain of rice.
- As children get older, you should continue to supervise brushing, using a fluoride toothpaste and reminding them not to swallow toothpaste.
- As soon as two of the teeth begin to touch, you should begin cleaning between the teeth daily, using floss.
- Continue to supervise your child’s brushing until they can effectively brush alone, usually around 7-8 years old.
- Begin seeing a pediatric dentist before your child’s first birthday. Ideally, you should see your pediatric dentist for a check-up as soon as the first tooth arrives so that they can monitor the development, check for any problems and educate you on proper oral hygiene for your child.
If you are looking for a pediatric dental home for your infant, toddler or child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is here for you. As your local Anderson, SC pediatric dentist, we strive to offer our patients and their parents the best quality pediatric dental care in a safe and loving environment. We offer sealants, x-rays, laser dentistry, lip-tie and tongue-tie treatments, as well as emergency dental care and special needs dentistry. Give us a call at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!
Spice up any cold fall night with this easy pumpkin stir-fry from earthofmarie.com
Everyone loves a bowl of chili. Pump up the nutrients with pumpkin in this yummy recipe from Chewoutloud.com
No more feeling guilty about dessert when you enjoy these pumpkin blondies from asimplepalate.com.
Start the day off right with delicious and nutritious pumpkin pancakes from whatmollymade.com. Your kids probably won’t even know they are healthy!
It’s always a win if you can have fries and call them healthy! Check out these yummy pumpkin fries from thethingswellmake.com.
This warm and flavorful soup will be a hit and keep you warm. Loaded with nutrients from pumpkin, coconut milk and curry, this soup from justataste.com packs some power.
It wouldn’t be fall without it and the list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include it! Pumpkin bread is a perfect fall treat, good from breakfasts, snacks or dessert. This recipe from onceuponachef.com is sure to please!
It’s the season of Pumpkins! Everywhere you look, it’s pumpkin this and pumpkin spice that. From lattes to pies, candles to fudge, it seems pumpkin has been added to everything. But, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Did you know that pumpkin is good for your oral health? Be honest. You never even thought about it. Well, that’s what your favorite Anderson pediatric dentist is here for! We’re here to tell you to go ahead and embrace the pumpkin!
Pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals that help keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.
Iron: Pumpkin seeds contain iron, which benefit your tongue and gums and also prevent anemia.
Magnesium: Works with calcium to strengthen your bones and teeth and strengthen your enamel.
Vitamin A: Promotes healing and helps with maintaining gums. It also aids in the flow of saliva, helping to keep your teeth clean.
Zinc: helps replenish the lining of the gums, strengthens teeth and bones and boosts gum health.
Vitamin C: Helps fortify your immune system, which help your body fight off infection and inflammation in your gums.
Fiber: Helps control blood sugar levels, aids in digestion and helps with weight loss and/or maintenance.
Beta Carotene: Your body naturally turns the beta carotene in pumpkin into Vitamin A, which helps heal and maintain your gums.
Potassium: Helps improve bone mineral density and works with magnesium to prevent blood from becoming too acidic and leaching calcium from your bones and teeth.
Pumpkin is a nutritionally dense, yet calorically light food. With all its benefits, this Anderson kids dentist encourages you to sneak it into any food or drink you can! From pumpkin bread to pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin curry to roasted pumpkin seeds, let this fall favorite give your body and mouth a boost this season! Just remember, while pumpkin is healthy, the nutritious benefits will be loss if it’s only eaten in high fat and sugary treats (cheesecake, sweetened coffees, etc.)
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to help you and your child achieve a healthy smile for life. We pride ourselves in being your go-to resource for your pediatric dental needs. If you are looking for a dental home for your child in Anderson, Sc or the Upstate area, give us a call at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!
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