Do Baby Teeth Really Matter?Mouth Healthy by the ADA / National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey / National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Baby teeth are often neglected because they eventually fall out and make room for more permanent teeth, but they play an important role in a child’s development. Healthy baby teeth save space in the jaw that is needed when the adult teeth begin growing in. They also aid in speech development and nurture good nutrition through proper chewing. Healthy teeth build self-esteem by providing a beautiful smile and enable children to pay attention and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain.
Due to this misconception, many children come into dental clinics with caries (cavities) in their baby teeth. Dental caries are found in 42% of children ages 2-11. Out of that 42%, 23% have untreated dental caries.
A few ways to get children excited and in the habit of brushing their teeth are:
- Reward systems
- Fun tooth brushes (ex: favorite cartoon character)
- Brushing your teeth at the same time
- Make a game out of brushing teeth (ex: "singing a song while brushing")
- Flavored toothpaste