What’s the Tooth Fairy’s favorite thing? Healthy teeth! And this National Children’s Dental Health Month, she wants to share with you the importance of baby teeth and pediatric dental health.
Children’s dental care may not seem like a top priority considering kids will lose this first set of teeth, but baby teeth are important. Most parents report that their children’s oral health isn’t as great as it could be, with the primary reason being that their children don’t brush their teeth often enough. Brushing your teeth is critical in preventing tooth decay early in your child’s life that can also have long-term effects which linger far past the loss of their baby teeth.
The Tooth Fairy wanted to share a few reasons why baby teeth are important, and how to keep them healthy:
- What Falls Out, Must Come In – Baby teeth generally begin to come in between six and 12 months of age and begin to fall out between the ages of six to eight years old – the time when the Tooth Fairy begins to make her visits. Despite baby teeth being temporary, they shouldn’t be treated as such. Poor dental hygiene with baby teeth can affect your child’s health, and lead to or exacerbate problems long after their adult teeth have come in. Cavities in baby teeth can affect your child’s speech, cause pain, and cause adult teeth to grow in incorrectly.
- Visit the Dentist Early and Often – Many parents are confused as to how best to care for their children’s teeth, which is why cavities are the most common chronic disease among children and adolescents. One of the most important things parents should do is take their child to a pediatric dentist beginning six months to one year after their first tooth comes in and schedule their kids to revisit the dentist for checkups every six months. Helping your child learn the importance of good dental health and visiting the dentist is important in establishing good habits which will shape their dental health long into the future.
- All About Enamel – The enamel which makes up the outer surface of a tooth is the hardest part of the human body – but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Enamel can be broken down by acids, starches, or sugar which can lead to irreversible loss of tooth structure and pain. Eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and brushing and flossing teeth regularly helps protect the enamel of your children’s teeth, keeping them healthy.
- Don’t Reach for the Doorknob – A loose tooth is sure to invite fiddling and impatience, especially when the Tooth Fairy is going to make a visit after it departs your child’s mouth. However, it’s important to be patient and careful instead of reaching for the string and a doorknob. Pulling out baby teeth too early can lead to several problems with adult teeth, including premature or late eruptions, overcrowding, or gum damage.
Good dental health habits are important throughout a child’s life and are particularly impactful during their formative years. Be sure to educate yourself and your children on the importance of dental health and help them practice keeping their smiles healthy – the Tooth Fairy will thank you!