Baby Teeth and Babies’ Teeth
by Dr. Robert Stanaland
Baby teeth are so important! This cannot be stressed enough. Yes, they will be “lost” eventually, but they play a vital role in a child’s jaw development in addition to aiding in proper nutrition and socially. Here are the answers to several questions we hear a lot.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
As soon as you are aware that any have erupted. Even before teeth come, you can be wiping down your baby’s mouth with a damp cloth after every feeding.
Why are baby teeth so important if they just fall out?
Obviously, children use their teeth to chew food, just like the adults. The baby teeth also act as place holders for the adult teeth, and if they are lost too soon, the adult teeth will have huge problems coming in correctly. Teeth that get decay can cause severe pain and infections. Children miss a lot of school in order to deal with dental problems, and the cost of treating these dental problems far outweighs the cost of preventing them.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
It is recommended that a child be seen by age one (1) or within six (6) months of their first tooth erupting, but the child should have been in a dental office long before then. Expecting mothers should be seeing their dentist regularly before the child is here, so education begins then.
What else can I do for my kid’s teeth?
Take care of YOUR teeth! See a dentist regularly. If you have established good oral hygiene and diet habits, your children will too. “Bad teeth” are NOT inherited, but bad habits can be passed down to your children.
Dr. Robert Stanaland is a dentist at the Family Health Dental Clinic at
840 West Clements in Odessa, TX. (432) 332-8870