Baby Teeth Matter
Pediatric dental care is essential to keep your child's teeth healthy and free of oral problems. There's no better time than the present to start practicing good oral health on behalf of your kids.
Nutrition and Health
Your baby needs teeth to chew. If your child has cavities, they cannot chew properly and that will lead in turn to nutritional deficiencies. Neglected cavities can also cause infections that can spread to the rest of the body, including the brain. If it gets to that stage, you may need to take your child to the hospital. Sadly, there are cases where infants have died as a result of dental abscesses.
Facial Formation and Speech
Baby teeth are important as the child's face develops and they learn to speak. Your baby's cheeks, lips, and tongue will deflect off their teeth as they form sounds. The teeth, if they erupt in the proper position, aid pronunciation in speaking. The structure of the infant's teeth plays a part in shaping their face and supporting the facial muscles as they grow.
Good Oral Hygiene For Babies
Proper oral care begins as early as infancy. We recommend starting a dental hygiene regimen of some sort very early on, whether you are nursing or bottle-feeding. Before your child's teeth erupt, wipe down their gums with a soft, wet washcloth or with gauze.
Once the teeth erupt, take care to clean them. It is important to use the right set of tools. Buy a toothbrush specially designed for babies. They have soft bristles and smaller heads for their smaller mouths. Brush your baby's teeth at least two to three times per day.
Your child's first baby teeth will start erupting between 3 and 9 months. When teething begins, it can cause your child to become fussy or irritable and can also cause restlessness, drooling, or loss of appetite.
Children who are a few years old derive comfort from sucking. This is a normal part of development. It brings comfort to children even after they no longer need nourishment from either breast or bottle.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
When a child consumes sugars from foods and beverages, this can lead to the formation of bacteria on their teeth. The bacteria in turn form acid and damage the enamel, leading to demineralization and potential cavities.
Caring For Your Baby's First Teeth
Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez will give you tips on caring for your child's teeth at home, such as how to properly brush and floss their teeth. She will also provide more specialized information once she assesses the specific condition of your child's teeth.
We'll also address your child's eating habits and what you should do to protect their gums and teeth. As a general rule, stay away from foods rich in starch and sugar. Also, your child should never go to sleep while nursing or with milk or juice in their bottle.
Your child's first teeth are very important, as stages of development critical to their dental health depend on them. Act proactively so they will have excellent dental hygiene as they mature.
Learn More About Children's Dental Care:
For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080, or schedule an appointment today!