Why are healthy baby teeth so important

Sometimes people question why baby teeth are important. They’re not permanent like adult teeth, so why does the health of baby teeth matter? 

We’ll get to that, but first here are some interesting facts about those adorable little chompers…

baby teeth

baby teeth are whiter

than adult teeth. This is particularly noticeable when your child has a mix of both baby and adult teeth.

little teeth

adult teeth are harder

making baby teeth more fragile and easier to damage. We often see children with accidental damage to their little whites.

child teeth

the number of baby teeth

is only 20, compared to the 32 adult teeth that a child will grow to use.

happy child

baby teeth have thinner enamel

leading to a greater risk of cavities and infection if not properly cared for.

So, why is it so important to look after those beautiful baby teeth? Here are the facts.

natural place holders

Baby teeth are integral to making sure those big adult teeth come through in their rightful places without issue. The loss of baby teeth before they’re naturally ready to move along can result in the adult teeth moving and shifting into places they’re not meant to go. This can lead to overcrowding and crooked adult teeth as their paths have been altered.

the risk of cavities and infection

Baby teeth have a thinner enamel, and as such can easily result in cavities, infections and/or abscesses if they don’t get the proper care and maintenance. You may think this is not such a big deal if the tooth will eventually fall out anyway, but infections can get behind a baby tooth and actually lead to infections and decay in the adult tooth. Not to mention, cavities and infections can be both painful and dangerous for the health of your little one. 

nutrition

Healthy baby teeth help your child to eat and chew healthy foods. Problems with unhealthy baby teeth can lead to problems with nutrition if a child cannot eat with ease. Making sure your child’s baby teeth are well maintained can greatly impact your child’s health and nutrition.

physical development

A young child uses their baby teeth to assist in the development of their facial and speech development. The tongue, cheeks and lips all use teeth to form facial expressions and sounds to speak clearly. Speech development can be delayed or complicated if baby teeth are missing prematurely, or if the baby teeth are in poor health.

other developmental concerns

These can include social and emotional development as children with dental problems often become self conscious. Children with dental pain can also find it harder to concentrate in situations where they’re expected to do so. Young children in particular may not be able to articulate where they feel pain and may display behavioural problems instead.

So, how can you protect your children’s baby teeth?

1

wipe down those baby gums

Before delving into the world of teeth you can prepare your baby for teeth cleaning by wiping your baby's gums with a damp clean facecloth.

2

baby brushing

From the time your baby sprouts their first tooth until around 3 years of age, it is recommended that you brush those baby teeth twice a day with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. It is also recommended that you begin regular visits to the dentist.

3

preschool protection

From the age of three until 6 years of age, use a pea sized amount of fluoride based toothpaste twice a day. Either continue to brush your child's teeth yourself or closely supervise the process to make sure they do it well.

4

flossing

When your child's baby teeth can touch, it's important to clean between the teeth to make sure no cavities can form in the sides of the teeth.

5

diet

Baby teeth are fragile and as a result, excessive intake of sugars can cause them damage. Limiting sugary foods in your child's diet is an important part of caring for your child's baby teeth.

Baby teeth are not permanent but are still incredibly important for the healthy development of a child.

“But they fall out anyway, right?” may seem like a logical reason not to properly care for your child’s baby teeth but when you know the facts, you understand why it is so important to care for them. Put simply, they’re fragile… and damage to or premature loss of baby teeth can have major impacts on your child. Dental visits are an integral part of caring for your child’s baby teeth.

At Butler Dental we’re dedicated to looking after the teeth of your little ones to maintain their overall health. You can find out more about these services here. We can also bulk bill some services in conjunction with the Child Dental Benefits Schedulecontact us for more information or to see if you’re eligible.