“Baby teeth do not matter; they will fall out any way.” As a dental hygienist, I often here this statement.
This is a common misconception among many parents.
Fortunately, there are many preventative factors to help you take care of their baby teeth.
First, only allow your children to have sugary snacks and juices in moderation. Our doctors usually suggest that your child should only drink water outside of mealtime, and they should not go to bed with juices or milk. Second, help your child brush and floss at night before bedtime. Night-time is the most important time of the day for adequate brushing and flossing with a parent. Not only does it help teach them good habits, but when your child is asleep, they do not produce as much saliva, which makes them more susceptible to decay. Third, switch their gummy vitamins to chewable vitamins. Gummy vitamins contain a high amount of sugar, and they are also more difficult to remove from between the teeth. Chewable vitamins are easier on their teeth and should be given before they brush and floss. Lastly, make sure your child is seen for their routine dental visits. The American Dental Association recommends that a child should have their first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth eruption or no later than twelve months of age. There are many benefits to taking your child to the dentist at such a young age. It will help build trust by familiarizing them to the office and their staff members, teach them the importance of oral home care, and create healthy habits that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
In some cases, it might seem true. For example, there are times when some dentists would not recommend doing dental treatment on a baby tooth that is close to coming out. However, that is not the case most of the time. Baby teeth can become problematic and are detrimental in holding space for the permanent teeth. Therefore, decay should not be left untreated for two major reasons. First, untreated decay could lead to an abscess or infection, which could cause even more serious health issues. Second, small amounts of decay could progress to severe decay, which could only be treated by extraction of the tooth. That would mean that the baby tooth is no longer able to maintain the correct amount of space for the permanent tooth. On average, a child does not lose their last baby tooth until age twelve. Therefore, it is important that parents are aware of the common mishaps that cause such decay. This may catch some parents by surprise, but working in a pediatric dental office, I can testify that the main cavity causing culprits are fruit juices, fruit snacks, and gummy vitamins. Most parents do not realize that there is a high sugar content in these common snack items.
Baby teeth do matter and although there are many factors that can contribute to decay, there are many factors to consider in preventing decay. Pediatric Dental Group and Orthodontics is committed to helping parents learn about these important factors. By growing up as a patient at PDGO, they inspired and helped me determine my career path. Now, I have the privilege to work there as a dental hygienist and stand by their strong core values. I have a passion for teaching parents and their children proper dental care. My hope is that PDGO will make an impact on you and your child’s life, as they have in my own.