daily habitsTaking care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and meeting with a dentist every 6 months are some of the steps we need to take to ensure optimal oral health. Most everyone probably acknowledges this. However, how many people know the importance of maintaining their children’s baby teeth? Some people may think it’s not important to brush a toddler’s teeth because they are not permanent. Their baby teeth eventually fall out so why bother keeping up with them, some may wonder. Here are six reasons why it’s important to begin your child’s oral health routine now.

Baby teeth mark the place for adult teeth

Although it’s true that children will lose their baby teeth, these teeth play an important role now because they impact your future teeth. They dictate where the adult tooth is supposed to come in. If the baby teeth are not cared for and become decayed, then the adult tooth may not come in properly. It could come in crooked or shift slightly. By brushing your child’s baby teeth and taking them to a dentist regularly, you help keep those teeth healthy and, as a result, ensure their adult teeth come in properly.

Cavities can form in baby teeth

Just because your child doesn’t have their adult teeth doesn’t mean they are not susceptible to getting cavities. In fact, they are able to get cavities as easily as older children without the proper care. If they do get a cavity, it will need to be filled. Cavities left untreated can lead to tooth decay or a cracked  or broken tooth.

Poor oral hygiene can lead to pain

No parent wants to see their children suffer pain, especially the pain of a toothache. However, if children do not receive adequate oral hygiene care, then tooth decay may set in. With tooth decay you have pain. Anyone who has experienced this knows the agony of a toothache. Children may not be able adequately to express what the problem is if they are very young, thus compounding the problem.

Not caring for your teeth may lead to bigger problems

If your child ends up with a cavity because of not brushing the baby teeth, this can lead to worse problems. In fact, an untreated cavity not only may lead to tooth decay, it could result in an abscess or infection. Any time there is an infection in the body, it is serious because you do not know where it will spread. If the infection spreads to the wrong place, it could be extremely serious.

Begin good habits now

Someday your children will be old enough to brush on their own. You want them to have the oral care habits necessary to be healthy children. As you brush their teeth for them when they’re young, it will become a habit to them when they’re older. You are teaching them good future habits when you take care of your young children’s teeth.

Eliminates fear of dentists

When children grow up going to the dentist from a very young age, it becomes a familiar place and a familiar experience. They don’t have the same fears an older child would have who is just starting out with a dentist. Having that early exposure eliminates a lot of the anxiety that older children can exhibit.

Start building healthy habits with your child today by implementing a daily oral health care plan. Brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day, floss after meals, and remember to make regular appointments with your dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Virginia’s team of dental professionals are available to teach you and your child the proper way to care for baby teeth.  If you need a refresher for your child’s basic oral care, let one of our team know during your next appointment and we will be happy to help! To make an appointment, contact us at 804-409-4725.  We can’t wait to see you!