Child dentistry / Importance of baby teeth
Baby teeth / milk teeth/ primary teeth started forming way back in the womb, they will be erupting through your bay’s gums as early as 3-4 months of age or normally between the ages of 6 months top one year of age. All 20 primary teeth will usually erupt by the age of 3 and remains until a permanent tooth underneath it is ready to emerge through the gums.
One of the most common misconceptions about primary teeth/milk teeth is they are irrelevant to the child’s future oral health.
The major functions of primary teeth are:
Speech production and development / Talking
The proper positioning of primary teeth facilitates correct syllable pronunciation.
Health primary teeth promote good chewing habits and facilitate nutritious eating.
Primary teeth hold an appropriate amount of space for developing adult teeth facilitating the proper alignment of adult teeth.
Missing primary teeth cause the remaining teeth to shift into the empty space and make it difficult for adult teeth to find space when it’s their turn to erupt causing teeth to become crowded and out of alignment with each other, resulting in malocclusion.
Even very young children can be quick to point out ugly teeth and crooked smiles. Taking good care of primary and promote confident smiles.
Baby teeth are also just as prone to cavities as adult teeth. In fact, more than 50 percent of children will be affected by tooth decay before age five.
How to clean baby teeth
- Good oral hygiene begins at birth. Gently clean your baby’s gums after every feeding using a clean, damp washcloth or toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head made just for babies.
- As soon as the first baby tooth arrives, you start brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste twice daily.
- Try to have your baby realize that you brush your teeth too. It can greatly influence their desire to brush like you do.
- Letting a baby fall asleep with a bottle full of breast milk, formula, juice or any sweet drink id like soaking those developing teeth in sugar. This can cause cavities in babies called "early childhood caries," formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay.
- Never dip a pacifier in anything sweet; it can lead to serious tooth decay.
Good oral health and diet is pivotal to establishing a lifetime full of happy, healthy smiles. All it takes is brushing, flossing, and eating right. The key is to start those positive habits at an early age.