The Importance of Baby Teeth

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While it's true that baby or primary teeth will only be in the mouth a short time, they play a vital role in a child's overall health and well being. Baby teeth reserve space for their permanent counterpart, aid in the development of clear speech, help to eat and smile, and give shape to a child's face.

It is important to start your child off with healthy dental habits. Before the first tooth erupts, you should brush the gums with a washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. You should brush your child's teeth twice per day ( morning and night) with a child size toothbrush and Fluoride free toothpaste and floss daily. We recommend you continue to use Fluoride free toothpaste until you know your child will not swallow the toothpaste. Your child's diet is important to their dental health too. Keep sugary foods and acidic drinks in check. Limit soda and juice, and chewy sticky snacks like fruit snacks, cookies, crackers, and gummy candy that get stuck in the grooves of the teeth. Regularly scheduled dental visits are also important to oral health. At the first visit, the dentist will check for cavities, examine the bite and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, or oral tissues. The hygienist will clean your child's teeth and teach the parent and child brushing and flossing techniques. Home care, diet, and regularly scheduled dental checkups will help to prevent premature loss of baby teeth. 

Children usually lose their first baby tooth when they are 5-6 years old, but it can happen as young as 4 and as old as 7. 

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If baby teeth are lost too early, they can't guide the permanent teeth into their proper position and the nearby teeth can tip or shift resulting in crowded or crooked permanent teeth.