Baby teeth – are they that important?
Indeed. These teeth play a vital role in our kids’ health and development.
We can think of them as a supporting actor in a movie. They might not play the main character, but they often hold the whole film together. They are so important that these actors can be awarded for their role.
As a Toronto kids’ dentist, I view the primary teeth in our little ones’ mouths just like that. They may not be around forever, but their supporting role is incredibly important. How so?
A Toronto Kids’ Dentist Answers: Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?
Baby teeth first start growing in a child’s mouth when they’re about six months old, remaining there until around 13-14 years of age.
One of the best ways to keep our kids healthy is to keep their primary teeth healthy. These teeth allow kids to chew solid food. Without them, it would be impossible for our kids’ bodies to adequately digest food, thereby limiting the nutrients they absorb.
Primary teeth also act as space maintainers for the adult teeth. If the baby teeth are healthy, the adult teeth will come into the mouth in proper alignment, allowing for the appropriate functions.
These teeth also help to shape a child’s face. Without them, it would be almost impossible for the facial bones to form as they should normally.
What Can Happen If Baby Teeth Aren’t Cared for Properly?
Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the significance of baby teeth. The lack of understanding can lead to improper care. That, in turn, can lead to a number of problems many of which may require complex or emergency treatment from a Danforth dentist.
What can our children face without proper dental care?
Rampant Dental Decay
Because the enamel of baby teeth is thinner than that of adult teeth, cavities can spread more rapidly. In cases of baby bottle decay, a child can end up with decay on just about every tooth. The reason for this is because they’re sent to bed with a bottle full of milk, formula, or juice – all of which contain sugar. The sugar attacks the enamel and decay develops.
Gum Disease Susceptibility
It may seem hard to believe, but yes – even children can get gum disease. Periodontal disease can lead to early tooth loss, which can negatively impact adult teeth.
Painful Dental Infections
When gum disease or decay is severe, dental infections can occur. These can be extremely painful and lead to facial swelling and loss of teeth.
It would be beneficial to take your child to the dentist if you notice:
- White spots/bumps on the gums
- Dark spots on the teeth
- Facial swelling
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing
- Complaints of tooth or jaw pain
- Chronic headaches
How to Care for Baby Teeth: Tips from a Toronto Dentist
What can parents do to protect baby teeth? Parents who come to my Danforth dentist practice may receive the following recommendations:
- Help the child brush their teeth at least twice a day
- Help the child floss once a day
- Always wear a seatbelt or sit in a car seat to protect the child from trauma/injury
- Limit sugary foods and drinks
- See a kids’ dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and examination.
These steps can help to protect baby and adult teeth, and contribute to better long-term health.
Seek Dental Care from a Danforth Dentist That Treats Their Patients like They are Family
One of the most important things we can do for our child’s dental health is to take them to the dentist on a regular basis and establish those habits at an early age.
But finding the right dentist isn’t always easy. How can we choose the best dental team for our children?
We can start by seeking out dentists who have a reputation for working well with children. This is exactly what families will find when they go to Twogether Dental.
As a mother to small children, I know how nerve-wracking it can be for both parents and kids to visit the dentist. Because of that, I treat the kids who come into my practice as if they were my own, with an extra dose of tenderness and compassion.
I view the families who become patients at my Toronto dentist practice as if they’re part of my very own family. And I do all I can to educate parents and their kids on the importance of baby teeth and how to care for them properly. My goal is to help keep our kids happy and healthy.
When you need a new family dentist, contact Twogether Dental to schedule an appointment. We look forward to taking care of the dental needs of you and your entire family.