As a parent, it’s a safe bet to say that you don’t want to devote any of your precious energy to something that’s not truly important. Although many parents think their children’s baby teeth don’t matter because they’re going to fall out, nothing could be further from the truth. And, since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s a great time to learn more about the importance of baby teeth and how regular checkups with a children’s dentist in Rowlett can help you maintain them. Learn more below!
Why Are Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth have several important functions and are crucial for your child’s overall oral health and quality of life, both now and in the future. Here’s why:
- Although they’ll come out eventually, baby teeth need to be healthy so they can function properly for as long as they need to. Some of them don’t fall out until age 12.
- Don’t forget that a cavity is actually a type of infection – whether it’s in a baby tooth or a permanent one. If a cavity goes untreated, this infection can turn into an abscess and spread to other areas of the body. In severe cases, this can actually be life-threatening.
- Baby teeth guide the development and position of the adult teeth. If they get large cavities and have to be extracted too early, it will negatively affect the permanent teeth.
- Every child needs a healthy, full set of teeth to speak clearly, chew comfortably, and smile with confidence.
How Can You Keep Your Child’s Baby Teeth Healthy?
One of the most important things you can to prevent childhood oral health problems is to schedule regular checkups with a dentist for kids in Rowlett.
The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling the first visit within 6 months of when a child gets their first tooth (or around their first birthday).
Here’s what that visit (sometimes called a “happy visit”) will include:
- A review of your child’s medical and dental history and a chance to ask any questions you may have.
- Children typically don’t get X-rays and a cleaning until they’re about 3-4 years old, but a dentist will do a visual exam to make sure everything is normal and healthy.
- You’ll also learn the best way to keep your child’s teeth clean at home to prevent problems and find out which oral hygiene products to use.
- If you don’t live in an area with a fluoridated water supply, a dentist can prescribe supplements to help your child’s teeth develop as strong as possible.
- Finally, your child will get a new toothbrush and pick out a toy. This small treat at the end of the appointment makes kids excited about their future visits!
Above all, these early checkups are a great way to help your child feel comfortable in the dental chair and help them avoid fear or anxiety around dental work.
With regular preventive care, you can make sure your child has great oral health for life!
About the Author
Dr. Tera Pollock has over 25 years of experience as a children’s dentist in Rowlett and is a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. She’s a firm believer in giving her patients the best start possible in life, so she always takes the time to educate parents about the importance of baby teeth. If you have any other questions about your child’s dental health, she can be reached via her website.