The moment that our baby teeth grow, proper dental care should already be in place. Maintaining a good dental health care routine early on leads to healthier teeth and gums, which lasts up to adulthood. Unfortunately, not a lot of parents take this as seriously as they should. And what’s worse is that child dentistry is not prioritised since dental problems usually do not manifest until the teeth grow fully.
If the teeth are kept clean and healthy from childhood, dental problems are kept at bay. It is during childhood when early dental problems are detected and prevented from getting worse. It is safe to say that there’s no better time to care for our teeth than when we are young.
But children don’t know that yet. The parents, therefore, have the responsibility to ensure that their children have good dental health while they are still young. There are so many financial options that allow parents to treat and maintain their children’s dental health care without spending too much money out-of-pocket.
This matter might be easy to shove into the corner, especially if the problems aren’t manifesting yet. But it’s a completely different story when it comes to your child’s dental health. As parents, we want the best for our children. And proper dental health from the moment their teeth start growing is key.
Still not convinced? Here, we compile some of the reasons why protecting baby teeth is extremely important.
Why Baby Teeth Need to Be Protected
Ensuring the health of your baby’s teeth can redirect them to a path of good dental health in the future. There are several misconceptions on when and how you should start, though. But did you know that you should begin cleaning your child’s mouth even before their first tooth comes through?
Here are the reasons why you should start protecting your children’s teeth:
More Chances to Have Healthy Adult Teeth
Decay and other dental issues among children can start as early as six years old. Bad habits, coupled with irregular visits to a reputable dentist, can easily be carried over into their adult lives. Your children might also suffer from other problems as they get older.
For instance, if your child loses a tooth due to cavities or decay, she may suffer from crowding problems later on. Baby teeth should naturally fall out once adult teeth come peering through. But when they are lost due to cavities, the chances for having healthy regrowth are slim.
On the other hand, children who follow good dental hygiene have less chance of getting cavities. Regular visits to the dentist will also teach them better ways on how to take good care of their teeth. They are also more likely to carry those good habits when they are older.
Speech Development Problems Can Be Avoided
There are five components of speech – respiration, phonation, resonance, articulation, and prosody. The teeth play a key role in articulating the words we say and the sentences we string together to form a thought. Our teeth help control the flow of air exiting the mouth, creating different sounds and inflections.
Poorly developed teeth are some of the most common reasons for speech development problems among many children. From mild lisp to severe speech impediments, children with poor dental care are afflicted more. It is, therefore, crucial to get your children’s dental health checked.
Remember that cavities are not your only enemies. You are also trying to make sure that your children prevent suffering from any speech development problems of any kind.
Build Confidence at an Early Age
A healthy smile is not only beneficial health-wise, it can also help boost your child’s self-esteem. Your child doesn’t have to have perfectly sparkly teeth. You just have to make sure that your child’s teeth are free from decay, cavities, and other diseases. Unhealthy gums and teeth can be extremely uncomfortable. Not to mention that some of them also doesn’t look good physically. Your child needs as much support in this area as they can get.
Fix Biting and Chewing Problems Early On
Biting and chewing problems can hinder your child’s ability to eat properly. This may result in a host of digestive problems. Your children may also have swallowing problems which then leads to aspiration or worse, choking.
Chewing is an important part of digestion. The process of chewing helps us digest food better. But not only that. It also aids in the absorption of healthy fat and minerals from the food into our body. When children cannot properly chew food, this may affect the development of their brain and growth.
All these reasons lead us to conclude that dentistry for children is a must. Without proper dental care and hygiene, children are at risk of several dental complications and other developmental issues. Dentistry for the young ones is more than just having a clean and sparkly smile. Above all, it is key to growing up with great overall health.
Start Your Dental Visits Early. Here’s Why:
Visiting the dentist as early as possible is important not only because it can help detect problems before they get worse. It is also helpful in making them feel comfortable around a dentist early in life. A lot of people believe in the stigma that visits to dentists are only necessary when there’s something wrong with your teeth. This cannot be further from the truth.
Children are particularly terrified of trips to the dentist. Perhaps they’ve had a bad experience with a dentist before. But more often than not, it is usually because they have never been to a dentist until they have experienced dental problems. Parents usually use the dentist as a form of threat or punishment when their children are being stubborn about brushing their teeth or eating too many candies.
This leaves a very bad impression on the child about the role of a dentist. Something that should be cleared out early on. Making a trip to the dentist a regular thing breaks off this impression. As parents, you also have the responsibility to remain calm and refrain from using dentists as a threat. Instead, frame visits to the dentist as something positive. Who knows? They may even end up looking forward to their dental check-ups every month.
Your child’s first dental appointment is an exciting time. But it may not be as thrilling to your child. So, be sure to prepare them as best as you can.
Your Child’s First Dental Appointment: What to Expect
Here at Byways Dental Practice, we believe that your child’s first dental appointment should happen before the age of two or shortly after their baby tooth comes out. Here are some things that you can expect during your child’s first dental appointment:
Getting to Know Your Medical History
On your child’s first-ever dental appointment, the dentist will take some steps to assess your child’s medical history. This may be a bit limited depending on the age of your child. So, the dentist may also ask the parents about their medical history to get a full picture of what to expect.
The dentist will then conduct a visual oral exam, looking through their teeth, gums, and other areas of the mouth. With the medical history information and the results from the visual oral exam, the dentist can now take the next step.
After the initial interview and examination, the dentist will further assess your child. This step enables the dentist to identify all the risks present. Whether your child is more susceptible to dental decay or other developmental issues.
Depending on their initial findings, they may order X-rays to be taken, although this step is very rare. For older children, X-rays may be necessary to check for alignment issues. Other preliminary dental procedures may include teeth cleaning, polishing, removal of any plaques, tartar, or stains.
If no other problems are detected, the dentist will now move on to the next stage of the visit.
Discussion on Oral Care
After all the assessments and all the routine procedures, the dentist will then provide instructions on how parents can take care of their children’s dental health. During this discussion, you may ask the dentist any questions you might have. Their instructions might include some of the following points:
Infant Feeding Advice
Did you know that the way you feed your baby can affect their teeth growth? The dentist can highlight some of the things you should know to make sure that your baby’s teeth are coming in correctly. Proper feeding methods can help with this. The dentist might touch on things like which food can strengthen the teeth and which food must be avoided at all costs.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition caused by long-term exposure of a child’s teeth to sugary liquids. This long-term and frequent exposure leads to premature tooth decay among many children. Some culprits include milk, formula, sodas, and other sweetened drinks. Sugars from these drinks pool around the infant’s teeth, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Your dentist will recommend some steps on how to avoid this complication. They may suggest never allowing children to fall asleep while drinking a bottle of milk or formula. Limited intake of juice and other carbonated drinks is also a must. Cleaning and massaging the baby’s gums can help ensure that they remain clean and germ-free. The dentist can also suggest other regimens that are more suited to your child’s age.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay can also be caused by other things aside from long exposure to sugary liquids. Some children may be more susceptible to it. While many others are more vulnerable due to poor eating habits. Eating hard candies at a young age can easily chip the enamel away. Not to mention all the bacteria that can fester when the teeth are left uncleaned.
The dentist will see to it that all these habits are put to an end early on. If anything, they will also suggest certain alternatives that can be healthier for your young one. Prevention is still the best step to good dental health, after all.
Dental Cleaning Tips and Tricks
The dentist will inform you that even before your baby starts teething, proper dental hygiene must already be practised. Cleaning your child’s teeth will vary depending on how old they are and depending on their needs.
Avoiding Bad Oral Habits
Old habits die hard. So, to all the parents out there, listen to what your dentist has to say about bad oral habits that must be stopped as soon as you see them. Teaching your children proper dental care will help them have a well-rounded dental care routine later on.
Some of the things that you must be wary of include chewing on hard objects. Maybe you are giving them a treat like a candy or licorice for being behaved on the way to the supermarket. All these can be risk fracturing or chipping your child’s tooth.
The list of bad oral habits does not end there. Brushing too hard can also be bad for the gums. No matter how much you teach your kids to brush, if it is not done right, then the effects are just as dangerous. Gentle brushing with soft-bristled toothbrushes is recommended for kids.
Another thing you should watch out for is sucking on thumbs or fingers. This habit has plagued so many children since the beginning of time. But thumb-sucking can actually misalign your children’s teeth, leading to what is commonly known as “buck” tooth appearance.
Advice on Teething
For first time mums, the teething stage might be a very intimidating period. But with a reputable dentist, you are properly guided on things that you should and shouldn’t do during that very important period in your child’s life.
For instance, a dentist can help you identify the signs and symptoms of teething. They can also provide tips on how to soothe a teething baby. They can recommend safe and accredited teethers that your child can chew on. They know which brands are safe and durable, and if you’re feeling totally lost, they can even tell you where to buy it.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can learn just from the first visit to the dentist. The important thing is to keep the appointments consistent and regular.
Looking for good pediatric dental clinics in Checkendon?
Byways Dental Clinic is your local dental practice based in Checkendon, Berkshire. We offer a wide range of dental procedures for both adults and kids. So, if you need pediatric dental services for all your young ones, know that we have got that covered for you. Get your children checked at our clinic today.