Keep Those Baby Teeth Healthy
As adults, we understand and accept that good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Poor oral hygiene in adults often leads to drastic complications over the long run. Why, then, would you not want to consider the health of your child’s teeth from their very first appearance? Even though these “baby teeth” will one day be replaced with a second set, there is no need to risk the quality of your child’s life because of poor oral hygiene.
It is easy to be a little lazy as a parent and allow your child to use a bottle or sippy cup as a secondary pacifier. You may not realize that those drinks you put in the bottle or cup are extremely high in sugar. Believe it or not, those drinks we think are the healthiest—fruit juices, sugar water, honey, even formula and milk—can coat your child’s newly growing teeth with sugar.
Sugar breeds bacteria, which in turn breed acid. Acid is the ultimate villain here; it erodes the outer layers of the teeth, weakening them and leading to the dreaded cavity. Cavities can cause severe pain while eating and talking and, in severe circumstances, require the teeth to be removed. This process alone has its own set of possible repercussions: infection, gum disease and misalignment of the adult teeth when they begin to grow in.
Your child’s baby teeth sometimes need to last him or her into early adolescence. For this reason, avoid contributing to the decay from the teeth’s very first appearance. Even at a very young age, it is important that you rub the gums and teeth with a damp gauze pad or washcloth. Once the teeth appear, start teaching and reinforcing the need to brush them. Most importantly, start bringing your child to us when his or her first tooth appears; once all the teeth are in place or by age 2 or 3, start scheduling regular visits with us.
Being a parent isn’t easy. Maintaining your child’s oral health is simply another added responsibility. But good oral health helps ensure that he or she grows up happy, healthy and strong!
Dr. Jared and his clinical team would love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!