Why is Caring for Baby Teeth Necessary?
It's tempting to think, "If baby teeth are just going to fall out, I don't need to bring my kid to get a filling" or that they don't need to see the dentist 😱😱😱. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. In fact, it's important that you take care of them as if they were permanent teeth because failing to do so may have some unintended consequences.
* Brush for two minutes, twice a day once teeth start to appear. Floss twice a day once the teeth start touching each other. If they haven't yet developed these skills, it's recommended that a parent or guardian to brush it for them. The average age that children develop the manual dexterity to brush by themselves is around six years old (or when they can tie their own shoelaces).
* Visit the dentist for routine checkups and the hygienist for regular cleanings every couple of months.
* If dental problems develop, have them fixed up before it worsens.
Decayed baby teeth can impact the way permanent teeth grow in. Amongst various purposes of deciduous (baby) teeth, one of the more important ones is holding space for the adult teeth to erupt. So, if a baby tooth comes out prematurely (e.g. knocked out from an accident or it is extracted too early), it could affect the way the adult teeth come out and they may very well come out crooked.
Another reason why it might be in your best interest to care for baby teeth is because certain individuals are congenitally missing an adult tooth (or two). We've actually seen this in previous team members (the technical term is "hypodontia"). Good news is, they took such good care of their baby teeth, that they still have them well into their thirties. Now can you imagine if they decided, "Oh it's just a baby tooth, I don't have to care for it"? They'd probably have gaps in their smile instead! Obviously, this group of people is comparatively small and hypodontia can be verified through x-rays and what not. But it's still a good idea to care for baby teeth while they're still around - you just never know!