Oral Health: Yes, Baby Teeth are Important

A baby teethingIt’s normal for some mothers to think that cleaning baby teeth is completely unnecessary. This is mainly because those teeth are too small and fall out eventually. While this is true, baby teeth are essential for your little one’s health and development, as they hold the space for permanent teeth. Failure to clean or take care of them can also contribute to decay, which can be painful for your child.

The Basics of Teeth Cleaning

Start caring for your little one’s teeth as soon as they come out. This can be as easy as wiping the teeth or gums with a damp washcloth or gauze after feeding. Do this at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. A dentist may recommend using a fluoride at age two (about the size of a grain of rice). Kids younger than eight, meanwhile, need supervision when brushing.

The Role of a Healthy Diet

Pediatric dentistry centers in South Bend, Indiana note that the road to a healthy mouth doesn’t start and end with brushing teeth. You should feed your baby a balanced diet, with fruits and vegetables. Don’t fall into the habit of giving them snacks and beverages loaded with sugar. You can still give them treats like cookies and chocolates, but only do so rarely or during special occasions.

Avoiding Baby Tooth Decay

One of the things you can do to avoid cavities is not to put your child to bed with a bottle. If you do, fill the bottle only with plain water. Note that if milk, juice, and other beverages with sugar linger in your baby’s teeth for too long, tooth decay is likely to thrive. You shouldn’t also dip your child’s pacifier in anything that’s sweet like honey or sugar.

Experts note that babies should get their first dental visit by their first birthday, or as soon as the first tooth comes out. This is to check the teeth’s development and show you the right way to clean baby teeth. You can also talk to the pediatric dentist about other things like fluoride sources and healthy diet for keeping your child’s mouth in good shape.