How a Children’s Dentist Can Help With Future Healthy Adult Teeth

Childrens Dentist Richmond, TX

In the same way a pediatrician takes care of children's overall medical needs, a children's dentist is a dental professional who takes care of your child's oral health. Although you might not think your child needs to see a dentist yet, they do. You should take your baby to the children's dentist within the first year after birth. This is because the teeth begin to come in around this time, with a few in the front at first. Then the rest of them will come in gradually over the next few years. These are called primary teeth since; eventually, the teeth will fall out. Keep reading to find out more about why proper dental care for them is so important.

About the baby teeth

Many parents think of their baby's teeth as not being important. Therefore, some of them will not craft a consistent oral hygiene routine. After all, these teeth will not remain in place nearly as long as the adult teeth will. But even though baby teeth do not last, these teeth are still important in a child's dental health. In addition, the health of the primary teeth can impact someone well into the adult years. Therefore, it is good for parents to understand the stages of their child's teeth development.

The first set of primary teeth emerges between the ages of six months and two years old, though some children may get their first tooth earlier or later than this range. The first two front teeth are called central incisors or centrals; lateral incisors or laterals closely follow them, then cuspids or cusps (pointy molars). Next, the bicuspids, premolars (wide version of molars), and molars at the back of the child's mouth on either side of the jawbone will present themselves. 

There are two main purposes of the primary teeth for a child. First, the teeth help shape an infant's jaw, face, and speech patterns. When babies have healthy teeth, it helps them have perfect alignment later in life with their adult teeth and jaws. They also help them speak clearly by preventing bad habits from forming during speech development, like tongue thrusting. Tongue thrusting can cause speech problems later in life, such as stuttering, lisping, or both.

The second and possibly most important reason is that primary teeth will guide the growth of permanent teeth. That way, the adult teeth can properly erupt in the mouth. Adult teeth typically begin to erupt when the child is around 6 or 7 years old. The room the baby teeth allow is good because if there is no space for the permanent molars, then there will be crowding issues later in the teeth development stages as well as when the child is eating certain foods. Also, without baby teeth, adult teeth are more likely to come in crooked. That can affect the child's appearance and dental function. Plus, it can increase the cost of future treatments. 

For this reason, a children's dentist focuses on protecting the primary teeth. Dental decay can affect the baby's teeth even more since the enamel (the hard outer layer) is considered soft and not as thick.


Reducing dental decay

There are several ways a parent can reduce a child's dental decay risk. First, the child should not go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth, especially if it has formula, milk, or juice in it. Each of these beverages has acids and sugars in them that will erode the enamel. This can accelerate the process of decay.

Bacteria are a common cause of dental decay, so parents should avoid sharing items. For instance, the child should use their own utensils only. The baby should also not be kissed on the mouth to prevent spreading bacteria that can cause dental disease.

Before the teeth appear, a children's dentist will recommend cleaning the gums with a cloth. That should be done after each of the feedings. Once the teeth are in, the parent should floss and brush. This will reduce plaque, which can cause any number of dental decay issues. Regular visits to the children's dentist are also important. These should start no later than the first birthday.

Visit a children's dentist to protect your child's teeth

Your children's dentist can help you learn the right way to care for your child's teeth. The dentist can help you understand the right way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Regular cleanings are also important for the child. Setting up an appointment will allow you to have a consultation if you have never been before.

Request an appointment here: or call Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental at (832) 579-0960 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in Richmond, TX.

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