Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are vital to children’s health. They allow your child to chew properly which is part of maintaining good nutrition. Primary teeth help in your child’s speech development. They also help “guide” in the permanent teeth. Your child will eventually lose all their primary teeth, but on average the first primary tooth becomes loose around age 6. Additionally, the primary molars are often in your child’s mouth until they’re 11-13 years old.
Tips to Care for Your Child’s Teeth
Make sure your child is brushing with a pea sized drop of fluoridated toothpaste once they are 2-3 years of age when they’re able to spit out the toothpaste and rinse their mouth with water.
Children’s teeth should be brushed at least 2-3 times per day and they should also floss daily. Until the age of around 9 yrs old most children lack the dexterity to thoroughly brush and floss on their own and require some assistance from an adult.
Avoid sticky and sweet foods such as chewy candies, fruit roll-ups, dried fruits and raisins. Limit your child’s consumption of juice, preferably to a mealtime. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day instead of drinks containing sugar.
Consider sealants for your child’s permanent molars. Sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth, where it acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid.
Thumb, finger and pacifier sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the first permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolong and or vigorous thumb, finger or pacifier sucking by your child, please discuss this with your pediatric dentist.
If you have any other questions or would like to make an appointment or arrange a consultation, call (858) 755-4223 or request an appointment online.