You may figure that because children eventually lose their first set of teeth, that the health of those teeth isn’t of the same vital importance as the health of their permanent teeth. But the truth is that protecting your child’s baby teeth is crucial to maintaining their overall health.
Baby teeth run all the same risks that permanent teeth do. In fact, dentists refer to cavities in a child’s mouth as “baby bottle tooth decay”. Milk, sugar, baby food, and more can still get stuck between a child’s teeth causing cavities and pain. When these teeth are lost, they cannot help guide the permanent teeth into the perfect place. So poor dental hygiene as an infant can result in poor dental hygiene as an adult. In extreme cases, a tooth can become abscessed resulting in an infection that can spread throughout the body.
How to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Doctors recommend that to avoid baby bottle tooth decay, parents should avoid sugar as much as possible. This means avoiding soft drinks, juices, and even milk. Doctors recommend that parents give their babies water and a pacifier if they need to calm down.
Some parents like to dip their children’s pacifiers in honey, sugar, or a sugary liquid. This will increase the rate of their tooth decay.
Mothers who nurse their babies at night, sometimes wait until their baby has fallen asleep before they stop nursing. Milk, even from the breast, stays in the mouth inviting bacteria in. Parents can help preserve their baby’s teeth by wiping down their teeth with wet gauze to remove potential bacteria that may have settled there and wipe away milk or whatever else might draw it there.
Further, dentists recommend that parents teach their children how to use a sippy cup by the age of 1 to avoid unnecessary contact of liquids with their teeth. Dentists also recommend that parents determine whether or not their water is fluoridated to ensure the child’s teeth are growing strong.
Thumb Sucking and Tooth Problems
Thumb sucking is a risk factor for older children whose permanent teeth are beginning to come in. But it can also create problems for infants as well. Most children stop this behavior by the age of four, but those who don’t can cause serious alignment issues that will need to be corrected with braces or some other intervention.
Premature Loss of Tooth
The older your child gets, the more they interact with their environment. Children can play rough, and sometimes, they lose teeth. If that’s the case, it can cause problems for their permanent teeth as their baby teeth function to hold space for their adult teeth. For this reason, space maintainers may be necessary to ensure your child doesn’t have problems with their adult teeth.
Contact a Baby Teeth Dentist on Cottonwood Today
Concerned about your baby’s dental health? Call Peak Family Dental Care today to schedule an appointment to set your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy teeth.