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Why Baby Teeth Are as Important as Permanent Teeth

Why Baby Teeth Are as Important as Permanent Teeth

While adults are used to a daily dental hygiene routine, many new parents wonder how to take the best care of their little one’s teeth during development. They may ask themselves, “when do baby teeth come in? What are primary teeth for? And when should I start caring for them?”

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are an essential part of your child’s growth and development. Your child’s baby teeth have a vital function, helping them perform activities like chewing and speaking. The health of your little one’s baby teeth can impact the health of their adult teeth too! 

Learn more about teething, the importance of baby teeth, and more from Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and Smokey Point’s best pediatric dentist. Schedule an appointment for your child today!

A baby boy in a white onesie sitting on a gray bed.

What Are Baby Teeth For?

Even though primary teeth are temporary, they have an important role to play in your child’s speech, eating and daily routine. Here are some important functions baby teeth play in your child’s life:

  • They are placeholders for your permanent teeth, so they come in the right position.
  • They make it easier for your kiddo to speak clearly.
  • They allow your child to easily chew and eat.

When Do Baby Teeth Come In?

Your baby’s primary teeth are present in their jaw from birth and generally come in between 6-12 months. While every child develops differently, the first baby teeth usually emerge around the front of the mouth. 

By the time they are three years old, the majority of kids have all 20 baby teeth in place. Later on, your child will have some adult teeth and some baby teeth. It’s important to remember that their teeth come in at different rates, and your child could have baby teeth and adult teeth simultaneously. Your smile is like an ecosystem where each tooth influences the health of all the teeth around it. This means if a baby tooth isn’t healthy, it can impact the health of the whole mouth. It’s one of the reasons that proper dental care for children is so important.

Do You Need to Care for Baby Teeth?

Caring for primary teeth is crucial to setting up your little one for a healthy, happy smile. Even though baby teeth are temporary, taking good care of them is still a top priority. Parents should take care to perform proper oral care for infants, even before their baby teeth emerge. 

When baby teeth are not cared for properly, plaque can accumulate on your little one’s teeth and create problems. This plaque buildup can cause cavities and even tooth decay if left unchecked. These conditions can cause harm to developing adult teeth, which is why it’s so important to care for your child’s primary teeth.

A young girl in a green dress brushing her teeth with a purple toothbrush.

How to Care for Primary Teeth

Caring for your child’s teeth every morning and night can set them up for a lifetime of healthier smiles! Here are some guidelines on proper dental hygiene for baby teeth. 

  • For children younger than three years old:
    • Parents with newborn children should gently wipe the gums with a wet pad twice a day.
    • Children who are younger than 3 years old should use a dot of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.
    • Once you see emerging teeth that touch, make sure to gently clean between them. 
    • As soon as you see your child’s baby teeth emerging, regularly take them to the dentist.
  • For children three years and older:
    • Children who are three years and older should use a dot of toothpaste the size of a pea.
    • Gently floss in between the teeth to prevent plaque buildup in hard-to-reach areas.
    • Once your child is old enough to brush their teeth on their own, supervise them to make sure they are practicing good hygiene habits.
    • Ask your pediatric dentist about dental treatments, like sealants and fluoride, to protect their teeth.

Early experiences at the dentist can color your child’s relationship with dental health for life. At Milestone Kids Dentistry, we are passionate about helping your kiddos cultivate a long-term and healthy relationship with their dental health. We love educating kids and parents on nutrition, hygiene, and dental milestones

Best Pediatric Dentist in Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and Smokey Point

Taking proper care of your child’s baby teeth puts them on the path towards a happier, healthier smile. Whether your little one is teething or brushing their teeth all on their own, caring for primary teeth at every milestone is the key to setting your child up for long-term dental health.

If you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist in Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and Smokey Point, the team at Milestone Kids Dentistry is ready to help your little one maintain their beautiful smile!

Give us a call, text us, or schedule an appointment online today!

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