People like to solve problems. Maybe it's the way our brains are wired, or maybe we are just don't have time to think about problems before they happen. Whatever the reason, prevention is overlooked all too often. This is especially true when it comes to kid's oral health. After all, those teeth are brand new; they just arrived and replacements are already on the way. That may be true, but those little teeth can develop big problems more quickly than you might imagine. If you get an early start on dental care and good habits, you can help your little one avoid a lot of pain, and pave the way for lifelong oral health.
The importance of early preventive care
Baby teeth are not permanent, but your child will have them for many years past infancy. That is plenty of time for toothaches, cavities, even gum disease to develop. Additionally, these teeth do serve an important function in your little one's future oral health. They act as placeholders for future adult teeth, and help guide oral development. Therefore, premature loss of baby teeth can have long-term repercussions.
What does preventive care involve?
Keeping those little smiles healthy takes a cooperative effort between you, your child, and dental team. Preventive care includes:
Now is the time to start
- Brushing (should begin with the first tooth)
- Flossing (should begin as soon as there are two teeth side-by-side)
- Regular dental visits (should begin at age one, or when the first tooth erupts)
- Good nutrition
- Monitoring and, if necessary, guiding dental development
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments, if necessary
- Safety measures such as wearing mouth guards during sports activities
- Patient education, for both parent and child
It is never too early for oral hygiene and preventive care. It begins with keeping an infant's gums clean, and then brushing and flossing as soon as teeth appear. If your child has at least one tooth, or is at least one year old, it's time to start seeing a dentist. Call Big Smile Dental in Chicago at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment.