7 Important Truths about Baby Teeth
Many parents falsely believe that baby teeth are disposable. This is simply not true. A child’s first teeth serve many purposes. They serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. They also serve as a guide for where these adult teeth should grow in.
Obviously, a child’s nutritional health relies on having teeth to bite and chew. These tiny teeth help them establish healthy eating and oral hygiene habits from the start. Baby teeth also help them learn how to talk and enunciate clearly.
With so many important purposes for baby teeth, we need to help kids keep their bite healthy and strong. Below are 7 more important truths about tiny teeth from your child’s dentist at Carolina Dental Arts.
Dental X-Rays Are Important, Even for Baby Teeth
Dental X-rays help your child’s dentist see a clear image of their oral condition and baby teeth. In fact, these imaging studies show early signs of problems not visible to the naked eye. Despite many parents believing the myth that dental X-rays are unsafe, the reality is much different. There is more to risk by not having these X-rays. In fact, flying on an airplane exposes a child to more radiation than a good X-ray glimpse into their oral health.
Pacifiers Are Okay to Use — Until Age Two
Many parents believe that children should never use pacifiers. Others allow their kids to use one of these soothing tools, but fear it damaging the child’s baby teeth. Still other parents allow their babies to use pacifiers for too long such as well into their preschool years. The truth is that it is okay to allow your child to self-soothe using a pacifier until the age of two. Most kids naturally quit using a pacifier by their third year.
Baby Teeth with Cavities Need Fillings
As said before, baby teeth play a vital role in many aspects of your child’s healthy development. An untreated cavity in one of these little teeth can cause big problems and lots of discomfort. Some of the effects can include impacted roots, spreading bacteria to other teeth, more cavities, gum disease and premature tooth loss. For these reasons, it is very important for kids to regularly see a child’s dentist and have cavities filled.
Sealants Protect Baby Teeth
The best way to prevent cavities and gum disease is to exercise a good daily oral hygiene regimen. This includes brushing and flossing your child’s baby teeth. Sealants are one of the best ways to back up this oral hygiene to prevent cavities. Sealants are safe, thin, protective coatings applied to teeth by the child’s dentist or oral hygienist. In fact, kids with sealants are proven by the CDC to have three times fewer cavities.
Calcium, Not Milk, Helps Build Strong Teeth
Milk contains calcium, one of the most important minerals for overall physical health, including for the health of baby teeth and the permanent ones that grow in their place. But if your child is allergic to milk or cannot have it for other reasons, there are ways to ensure they still get enough calcium. Non-milk substitutes for healthy calcium intake include nuts, seeds and some vegetables.
Fluoride Is Safe In Your Child’s Water
Fluoride is a natural mineral that many communities add to water to provide cavity prevention benefits. This mineral strengthens tooth enamel. You can also receive fluoride in toothpaste and some mouth rinses. It is very important for your child’s dental health and to have strong baby teeth and permanent teeth. But many parents fear it is toxic.
The truth is that fluoride is safe in small amounts that kids receive each day in their water-based beverages and through their oral health routine. If your child needs more fluoride, their dentist may recommend a dental fluoride treatment or other supplementation.
Let Baby Teeth Fall Out on Their Own
When your child has a loose tooth, it is tempting to pull it out. But it is actually better to allow baby teeth to fall out on their own. If you still feel the need to free your child of the wiggling annoyance, call your child’s dentist’s office. You can schedule an appointment for your child or ask about the best way to safely remove the tooth.
Schedule Your Child’s Dental Checkup Today for Healthy Baby Teeth
Baby teeth deserve all of the care of your child’s permanent ones. They serve many important purposes and need proper cleaning, protection and dental checkups. To learn more about the role of your child’s tiny teeth and how to care for them properly, schedule a visit with your child’s dentist at Carolina Dental Arts today.