Dentist Journal

Why Children’s Teeth are Just as Important as Their Adult Counterparts

Just because they’re temporary doesn’t mean they aren’t important! Children’s teeth are significant to a child’s overall wellbeing and development. While children will eventually lose their milk teeth, it’s important to appreciate and take care of them.

Supporting general health and establishing good habits

Baby teeth can develop plaque, cavities, decay and gum disease in the same way as adult teeth. It is important to take good care of baby teeth and establish great oral care habits early. When it comes to kids, one of the best ways to instil good habits is through positive reinforcement.

Make it fun!

Youngsters can explore the ritual of toothbrushing with their own rubber toothbrush. Early toddlers and young children can enjoy books, songs and games involving tooth brushing and visiting the dentist. Children’s toothbrushes should be soft-bristled, appropriately sized, and their toothpaste age-specific, as these contain controlled levels of fluoride and a mild flavour. As your child grows, continue to focus on fun, positive reinforcement. Tools like two-minute sand-timers, stopwatches and an electric toothbrush are useful. Similarly, reward charts are a great visual prompt and a fun motivator for children.

Lead by example

Role model good habits. Even when you think kids aren’t looking, they are observing, so lead by example. Demonstrate a positive attitude to your own dental routine and an appreciation for access to regular dental appointments.

Visit the dentist for fun

Create positive associations with the dentist early. The ideal time for a child’s first dentist visit is before they have any issues – this makes their appointment quick, pain-free and friendly. You and your child should attend the dentist for regular checkups twice a year.

Promoting healthy development

Speech development

The teeth, tongue, and lips work together to control the mouth’s shape, tongue placement, and airflow. This is required in order to form specific speech sounds. Your dentist in East Bentleigh will be able to identify many contributing factors to speech delays, such as tongue ties, bite issues, cleft palate and misalignment. Thumb and finger sucking can detrimentally affect the growth and development of the mouth – pushing the alignment of the teeth out of place and affecting future physical development, speech development and aesthetics.

Holding space for adult teeth

Baby teeth hold space in the mouth for adult teeth. Premature loss of milk teeth can result in the adult tooth drifting out of alignment. Adult teeth grow under the gums and push teeth, making them wobble and eventually fall out when they are ready to erupt. It’s important to protect teeth by wearing a mouthguard for sport and physical activities.

While, eventually, kids will lose their baby teeth, it’s important to take great care of them. Doing so will help children develop well, feel confident, and ensure that their adult teeth come through correctly. Teaching great oral hygiene habits early set children up to take responsibility and pride in their dental care and feel positive about visiting the dentist regularly. To book an appointment for your child, contact Verve Dental.