Baby Teeth: Are They Important?

the importance of baby teethHaving a baby is an exciting time for many families. There is nothing quite as special as adding a new member to the family. For new parents and parents of multiples, it is important to take care of your newborn in the best way possible. This includes emotionally as well as physically. Even though newborns don’t have teeth, it is important to maintain their oral health.

Baby bottle tooth decay is something that most parents don’t consider until it is staring at them in the face. Fortunately, it is preventable. Sometimes parents are tempted to leave a baby bottle, full of milk in the crib with
baby so that they can “self-sooth” and feed them-self once they are able to. However, this is a big no-no. As convenient as it might seem, you are doing more damage than good. In the following article by the American Dental Association, they discuss this in further detail:

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other
teeth may also be affected. There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being
passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon
in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed
to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride,
they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that
decay is preventable.

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One of the best things that you can do for your baby’s oral health is to properly clean a pacifier if they are use them and to disallow your baby to sleep with a baby bottle of milk or other sugary drinks at night.

 

Taking care of your baby’s teeth is important and will give the proper foundation for a life of good oral health. You can start early to make sure that you baby has the best oral care possible. Even baby teeth need care just like permanent teeth and how you take care of the baby teeth will affect the permanent teeth. In the following article by Parents, they provide some useful tips on how to take care of your baby’s pearly whites:

Start cleaning your child’s mouth even before her teeth come in. Wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.

Once the teeth begin coming in, start taking care of them right away. Many parents think baby teeth aren’t important because they’re eventually replaced by permanent ones. But these first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help Baby chew and talk. If they’re not cared for properly they can decay, leading to a gum infection called gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of permanent teeth.

Most infant foods easily wash off Baby’s teeth with just a drink of water after meals. But it’s good to introduce a toothbrush (choose a very soft one) as soon as possible, so baby can get used to having it in his mouth. You probably won’t need to use the brush to actually clean Baby’s teeth until he’s eating only table foods (and has a significant number of teeth), at around 18 months.

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Taking care of your baby’s teeth is important and the care that you put in now affects the permanent teeth as well. As the article states, some parents do not think that baby teeth are important because they are not permanent but even so, it is still important to take care of your baby’s teeth and gums.

Baby Teeth: Are They Important?