Baby teeth, also referred to as the primary teeth, are a temporary set of teeth in children that will eventually fall out as the permanent teeth are ready to emerge. Baby teeth are more than a collection for the Tooth Fairy. Believe it or not, some of our most frequently asked questions at Avalon Dental Group come from parents about baby teeth. We’ve compiled a short list of the top things we want parents to know about their child’s growing smile:
#1 Yes, baby teeth are important.
While baby teeth don’t stay around forever, they play critical roles within your child’s oral health and development. Leaving cavities untreated in primary teeth can impact the permanent teeth that are waiting to emerge behind them. Losing baby teeth too early due to decay can also impact the alignment of your child’s future smile as well as their speech development and eating abilities.
#2 Yes, getting sealants is a good idea.
While brushing and flossing are the best way to prevent cavities in baby teeth, sealants are an excellent addition to help children avoid decay in the back, cavity-prone molars. Sealants are easy to apply. They involve a thin plastic coating that forms a barrier on the top surface of the back teeth that often harbor food debris, sugars and plaque inside their grooves. A recent study by the CDC found that children without sealants have three times as many cavities as those who do!
#3 Yes, your child can still have a healthy smile without drinking milk.
We often hear about the importance of milk for strong teeth and bones. But, what if your child doesn’t like milk or is allergic to milk? Don’t worry. It’s not the milk that your child’s teeth need, it is the calcium. There are plenty of other sources of calcium you can offer your child, including non-dairy foods like nuts, seeds, calcium-fortified orange juice and even certain vegetables.
#4 No, you should not be too quick to pull your child’s loose tooth.
It’s tempting we know. Seeing your child’s wiggling tooth and not doing anything about it. The truth is, it may not be ready to fall out yet and pulling a tooth too aggressively or too soon can cause a lot of bleeding and pain. Not to mention, the permanent tooth may not be quite ready to come down yet. It is best let the loose tooth fall out naturally or follow your dentist’s instructions for safe tooth removal.
#5 Yes, your child really does need to visit the dentist that soon.
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges or when they turn one year old, whichever comes first. This may seem extremely early to bring your child to the dentist. However, there are many benefits to seeing a dentist this young. Routine dental visits are more than just cleaning your teeth. For such young patients, we like to perform a quick evaluation, answer your questions and establish a positive relationship with your child to ensure dental care stays rewarding as they grow.
Call Avalon Dental Group today to schedule your child’s pediatric dental visit. We love kids!