Taking Care of Baby Teeth: A Big Role in Dental Health

There was a time when people believed that baby teeth didn’t matter because they were going to fall out anyway. Luckily for our kids, we know that neglecting those important baby teeth can cause a lifetime of trouble. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that nearly 25% of children between the ages of two and five already have cavities.

Toddlers can prevent our best intentions…
We love our kids and want to do what is right for them, but they don’t always (or often!) make that easy. So we might skip brushing their teeth when they start to freak out at the sight of their toothbrush; or when they’ve fallen asleep before you’ve had a chance to help them brush their teeth. If your little one prefers to snack all day, you might feel relieved they’re getting some food in their stomachs – but constant munching can put them at higher risk for cavities.

But once the damage is done…
You can’t simply pull out decayed baby teeth and swear to do better once the permanent teeth come in. In fact, pulling a decayed baby tooth can cause additional problems because they serve as placeholders for adult ones. Without those placeholders, adjacent teeth can drift into the space, interfering with the growth of permanent teeth.

In addition, preschoolers who have cavities in their baby teeth are three times as likely to develop them in their permanent teeth. A five-year-old’s oral health can even predict greater decay and disease as an adult.

Diet contributes to the problem, but it goes deeper…
Children can have cavities for several reasons, including eating too many carbohydrates, consuming too many sugary drinks, and then topping that off with not brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. But there’s even more to it than that: the bacteria that causes cavities can continue to infect a child’s gums and teeth even if that one little decayed, brown-mottled tooth falls out. Have those baby teeth repaired by calling for an appointment today: (800) 717-KIDS.

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