Often, parents underestimate the importance of their child’s first set of teeth. While these are certainly intended to be lost, they also play a large role in the way that future teeth develop. And studies have shown that behavior that is taught at an early age can influence their later oral health habits.
Not only that, but these structures are also susceptible to infection. This can become an issue, as root canals are not usually available to children. Extraction can pose its own problems, as well, since adult teeth grow along the path of prior growth. Without a solid track to develop along, crooked alignment can occur, resulting in later need for orthodontic surgery.
Therefore, it is very important to keep your child’s mouth happy and healthy. Today, your Cerritos, CA dentist explains the dangers of baby bottle tooth decay, and what you can do to give your child as many oral health advantages as you possibly can!
More Important Than You Think
Even though this first set of teeth are intended to be lost, they still play a very important role in the development of a young mouth. And while every new parent tests the waters on what is necessary and superflous, the strength of these initial structures can create a strong foundation for your child’s oral health future.
The adult teeth grow in a way that can be disrupted by an extraction. Without the previous material in place to guide new development, the track becomes more erratic. This drastically increases the likelihood that braces or clear aligners will be necessary in the future. So remember that your small work now can save a lot of hassle in the long run!
What To Look For
In infants, you may not be aware of the signs that your child is developing serious bacterial activity within their mouth. Primarily, you will notice darkened, brown spots on the enamel that will not easily wipe away. If you notice this, be sure to speak with your dentist as soon as possible, in order to plan for your child.
If left untreated, your child may experience pain and swelling due to the infection. And like with adults, cavities can develop into serious concerns. Once the pulp and root of the mouth are exposed to air, they become prime targets for an infection.
Help Them Stay Hygienic
Since babies do not have the same ability to swallow and close the mouth as adults do, young children require some additional help to keep their mouth clean.
Leaving them with a bottle in the crib can cause them to have sugars in their mouth sitting for hours. This means that bacteria are allowed to grow without anything stopping them. And your baby’s immune system certainly has enough to handle on its own! It is best to avoid using any form of sweetener onto a bottle or pacifier, such as honey or sugar.
While that may get them to take it in the short-term, it can damage dental tissue, but also promote poor eating habits as they grow. The American Dental Association suggests a switch to a cup by their first birthday, so start teaching them by the time they are around 6 months of age.
ABOUT YOUR CERRITOS, CA, ORAL SURGEON:
Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly welcome patients of all ages from Cerritos, CA, and all surrounding communities, such as Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and more.