[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This is a question as a Pediatric Dentist that I hear daily. I am here to tell you that YES! all 20 of those little chompers serve a very valuable purpose!
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth start to appear as early as 6 months of age with the final tooth coming in around 30 months. These teeth are important, even if their destiny is to eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth. Did you know that the last baby tooth does not fall out until age 12?!
The Role of Baby Teeth:
Help children eat food properly
Help children with the development of proper speech
Hold space for and guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions
Aid in aesthetics
Set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles
When should your child first visit the dentist?
Great habits start early! Therefore, I recommend starting dental visits when the first tooth appears in your child’s mouth, no later than their 1st birthday!
How to keep the teeth clean:
Just as it is important for adults, great oral hygiene and a healthy well-balanced diet are important for infants and children.
An infants #1 priority is to eat! Even though there are not teeth to brush following a meal, it is wise to still clean their mouths. An easy way to do this is by utilizing a damp wash cloth and wiping the gums. This is a great way to help decrease the amount of bacteria in your baby’s mouth.
When the first tooth appears, you can trade the cloth for a tooth brush. Using small gentle circles, get all surfaces of the teeth. Remember to lift up the lip in order to brush the gum line. Brush your child’s teeth 2 times a day, after breakfast and before bed
A toothbrush cannot reach everything therefore, as soon as your child has two teeth touching you can begin to floss!
Although it may be tempting to allow your child to go to bed with a bottle, don’t. This is the number one cause for baby tooth decay! It occurs when drinks with sugar or natural sugar like milk bath the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth. If you are trying to break the “bottle at bed time” habit, try substituting water in the bottle instead of milk.

So what is the key to healthy baby teeth? It is to start forming positive and healthy habits at a young age. Let’s work together to keep your child’s baby teeth in great shape!

In success,
Dr. Katie Foster[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]



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