Why bother filling baby teeth?
As we all know, baby teeth aren’t permanent, they are the teeth your child will have for several years, until the permanent teeth come through. To preserve your child’s baby teeth, your dentist will sometimes clean out the cavities in baby teeth and fill them. The baby teeth help the adult teeth to come through properly. Losing baby teeth early isn’t good for your child’s permanent teeth. The long-term problems associated with decayed baby teeth and lack of proper treatment can affect your child’ oral and overall health. It seems like wastage of money to fill baby teeth as they aren’t permanent teeth but there are long- and short-term effects of not taking care of baby teeth.
Baby teeth start coming at the age of six months and babies usually have 20 teeth by the age of 2-3 years. Each child is different so don’t worry if your baby’s teeth appear earlier or later. Your baby’s jaw will grow with age as they start losing baby teeth and grow permanent teeth. Lower baby teeth usually erupt before the upper teeth. Children start losing baby teeth at the age of 6-7 years old and the permanent teeth start to come through.
The names of the different types of teeth are:
- Incisors – the front teeth located in the upper and lower jaws. Each incisor has a thin cutting edge. The upper and lower incisors come together like a pair of scissors to cut the food
- Canines – the pointy teeth on both sides of the incisors in the upper and lower jaws; used to tear food
- Premolars – which have flat surfaces to crush food
- Molars – these are larger than premolars, with broad, flat surfaces that grind food.
Why baby teeth are important?
Baby teeth are an important part of your child’s overall wellbeing.
- Baby teeth helps in maintaining good nutrition. If your child is suffering from toothache or loss of baby teeth, they will start avoiding food which can affect their overall nutrition.
- Give the face its normal appearance and helps your child pronounce the words properly.
- Baby teeth give a healthy start to permanent teeth as decay and damage to baby teeth can cause damage to permanent teeth developing beneath them.
- Baby teeth also hold a place in the jaw for permanent teeth to come through as losing baby teeth too early can create orthodontic problems.
- Keeping baby teeth clean helps in protecting baby and permanent teeth from cavities and infection.
How to look after baby teeth?
Baby teeth are at risk of getting decay as soon as they appear in the mouth. Sweet foods and drinks can put them at risk of tooth decay.
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean wet cloth or gauze after each feed.
- Start brushing your baby’s teeth with a soft toothbrush (no toothpaste) as soon as the first tooth appears.
- Children over the age of 18 months can use pea sized toothpaste under parent supervision. They should be rinsing their mouth after brushing with toothpaste
- Kids need supervision with brushing their teeth until the age of 8-9 years old.
- Start taking your child for regular dental check-ups from the age of 12 months.
- Start teaching your child how to brush properly from the age of 2-3.
- From the age of 5-6 years old, start teaching your child how to floss.
How to spot the early signs of tooth decay?
- Toothache or pain that occurs without any apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
How to reduce the risk of tooth decay?
Tooth decay is preventable. Proper brushing and healthy nutritional diet started at an early age can help decrease the risk of dental decay.
- Don’t dip the dummy in honey or sugar
- Don’t let your baby sleep with milk bottle in their mouth containing milk, juice or fruit juice
- Clean the dummy before giving it to the baby
- Choose nutritional food, avoid fruit juices, cordial and sweet treats.
- Brush twice a day
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 38783384.