Why is it important to look after baby teeth?

Taking care of a child’s baby teeth, also called primary or deciduous teeth, is important for their oral health and growth as a whole. Even though these teeth will fall out eventually, taking care of them now sets the stage for healthy permanent teeth and good oral hygiene habits later in life.

Why is it important to take care of baby teeth?

A common mistake is to think that baby teeth are not as important because they will fall out and be replaced by adult teeth. 

Baby tooth decay can cause discomfort and infection, making eating, sleeping, and concentrating difficult. Infections in children’s teeth can sometimes result in abnormalities in adult teeth that are forming. Did you know that the removal of diseased and rotting teeth is one of the most common reasons for a hospital admission in children in the UK for a general anaesthesia procedure?

Early Visit into a Dental Clinic

There are a number of reasons why these early visits are important:

To get your child used to the dentist’s office

When your child goes to the dentist from a young age, even when they don’t need treatment, they can get used to going regularly, sitting in the chair, and having their teeth checked and counted. 

Advice for preventing problems

We all know that prevention is better than cure, so the best time to learn good oral habits is as soon as possible. 

Most babies get their first teeth between 6 and 7 months old. As soon as the child’s first teeth come in, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Even if the teeth come in a few months later or even a few months early, make sure they have at least one dentist visit before their first birthday. Even though most babies won’t have any teeth problems at this age, it’s important to take them to the dentist for the first time so they can get used to being there. Anyone can be a little nervous in a new place, so it’s best to go when they don’t have any problems. This will help them think of going to the dentist in a good way. Also, getting them used to coming often is a good idea. 

What happens at the first dentist visit for your baby?

Your baby will meet the dentist and the other people who work in the office. They will all be so happy to see such a cute visitor. We’ll show them how the dental chair works and try to get them to sit in it so they can take a ride. If they are nervous, they can sit on their parent’s knees. 

We like to play with your child’s favourite TV show and give them lots of praise and encouragement so they can have a good first experience and learn that going to the dentist is fun. 

We might show your kid different dental tools, like the dental mirror, and let them hold or play with them. If they let us, we’ll try to count and look at their teeth. Don’t worry if your child is scared and won’t open. This happens sometimes. The more times they visit the practise and have a good time, the more comfortable they will be and the more willing they will be to work with you. If they have an older brother or sister, they can go to them first to show them what to do. 

It’s also important for parents to make sure this first dental visit is a good experience for the child and doesn’t cause them any stress. They can do this by gently encouraging the child and not using any negative or “scary” words. If a parent has a fear of the dentist, they shouldn’t try to make their child feel the same way. This could change how the child feels about going to the dentist. Some people are afraid of the doctor for no reason, even though they have never had a bad experience there. Many tell us that their parents’ fears and bad situations made them afraid and anxious as children.  People who are afraid of the dentist are less likely to go to the dentist regularly and only go when they are in pain. This can hurt their teeth in the long run and make them even more afraid of the dentist. 

Another good thing about this first visit is that you can get dental help that is made just for your child. We’ll ask you about your current practice and if there’s anything you’re having trouble with. Then we’ll help parents by showing them how to improve things or make them easier. 

How should you take care of a baby’s teeth?

It is vital that you understand the importance of looking after your baby’s teeth. Prevention is better than cure, and the best time to learn how to take care of your teeth is as soon as possible.

Make sure brushing is part of your daily habit every night and every morning. Babies like routines, and this way they can get in the habit of brushing their teeth, like every night after bath time.

As soon as the first baby tooth comes in, use a fluoride toothpaste with at least 1000 ppm of fluoride. 

Use just a little bit of toothpaste or a baby toothbrush. If your baby won’t let you use a brush, a silicone finger brush is a great option. 

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