It can be difficult keeping your toddler’s teeth healthy, especially when they’re not used to cleaning them regularly. Even though they’re meant to fall out eventually, they play an important role in their development, which is why it’s vital to keep them healthy and intact. Since this February is Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about your little one’s mouth. Read on to learn five reasons why baby teeth are so important from a pediatric dentist trained to take care of growing smiles.
Teeth Alignment & Future Orthodontic Issues
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, act as place-holders in your child’s mouth to help guide their adult teeth into position. When baby teeth need to be pulled or are lost toot soon, it increases the chances that their permanent ones will sprout in misaligned or crowded. This can also determine whether or not your child needs early orthodontic intervention down the road.
Healthy Adult Teeth
Many parents aren’t aware that if a baby tooth gets a cavity or tooth infection that migrates to the root of their tooth, these problems can spread to the permanent teeth located underneath their gums. Because temporary teeth are so small and their enamel is thin, untreated oral health problems like decay can spread very quickly. That’s why it’s important to take your little one for regular checkups and cleanings with their dentist for toddlers early on. Not to mention, even if there aren’t any issues lingering in their mouth, this is a great way to get your child acquainted with their dentist and oral health.
Good Health & Nutrition
Teeth allow your child to chew their food and break down and digest all of the vitamins and minerals that help them grow. If they have a cavity that makes it uncomfortable to chew their food all the way, this can prevent their body from being able to properly use and absorb vital nutrition in what they eat.
Speech & Facial Structure and Development
When you speak, you use your teeth, cheeks, lips, and tongue to form certain sounds and pronounce words. If your child loses their baby teeth too early during a key developmental time in their life, this could cause them to develop a speech impediment or have difficulty sounding out certain words. The arrangement of their teeth in their mouth also helps support their facial structure and build the muscles in their cheeks, which are used to speak.
Concentration & Self-Esteem
Whether you’re an adult or a child, having gaps in your smile can impact your self-esteem and make you feel less confident in social situations. Additionally, if your child is experiencing pain due to decay or infections, this can make it harder for them to concentrate in school.
Since this February is Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s a great time to start implementing oral hygiene habits that will help keep their temporary teeth healthy and their smiles full. A great way to ignite their passion in brushing, flossing, and keeping their pearly whites happy, and to kick-off this special month, is to take them to their pediatric dentist!
About the Author
Dr. Lily is a board-certified pediatric dentist who has always been passionate about helping little ones optimize their oral health. She especially loves caring for children who have special needs, and providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to have healthy and happy smiles as adults. She is currently an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, to name a few. For questions or to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your child, visit Shiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry’s website or call 469-925-0861.