You might assume that you don’t need to clean your child’s baby teeth or take your child to the dentist until they get their permanent teeth. After all, their baby teeth fall out, right? Yes, but getting your child’s baby teeth cleaned and examined is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s oral health. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of baby teeth cleaning — and why it’s never too early for your child to begin a great oral care routine.
Why should you get your child’s baby teeth cleaned?
Even though they only last a few years, baby teeth are extremely important for your child’s oral health and development, as well as his/her overall health. These baby teeth help children chew, speak and smile. Also, they hold space in the mouth for permanent teeth.
As soon as your child’s baby teeth come in (usually starting around six months old), tooth decay can begin. This not only causes pain for your baby, but it can also destroy your child’s teeth and gums. Also, an untreated cavity in a baby tooth can cause serious or even deadly infections. Furthermore, tooth decay can cause trouble with eating, which can lead to your child not getting enough vitamins and minerals to grow up healthily.
Even as an infant, beginning your child’s life with good oral care can help protect their teeth for a lifetime. It’s never too early to begin taking great care of your child’s oral health.
What can you do to help keep your child cavity-free?
To help keep your child’s mouth healthy, it’s vital to clean his/her baby teeth regularly. As soon as you see your child’s first tooth coming in, it’s important to start a few key habits:
- Wipe your baby’s gums after he/she eats. (Try using a clean, damp washcloth.) This helps remove bits of food and plaque.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (morning and night) with a child-sized toothbrush and child-safe toothpaste.
- Floss your child’s teeth every time you brush them.
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.
- Don’t put pacifiers in your mouth before giving them to your child. (Decay-causing bacteria in your mouth can easily be passed to your child.)
- Limit the amount of juice, other sugary drinks, and sweets that you give your child.
When should your child see a dentist?
Dupont Dental usually does not see children until they are three years old, as this is the age when all baby teeth have come in, and children can typically fully understand and cooperate with an exam. However, if you have concerns and would like your child to be seen sooner, feel free to contact us anytime. We’re always here to answer any questions!
Remember: Even though baby teeth fall out, keeping them clean is the beginning of a healthy oral care routine for your much-loved child.