At Big Smile Dental, we are dedicated to putting healthy, happy smiles on kid’s faces across Chicago. Our skilled team can restore virtually any smile, of any age. However, we firmly believe that the best treatment is prevention. When new baby teeth appear, they are in pristine health, untouched by disease and decay. We want to keep them that way! Unfortunately, many people do not understand the importance of early oral hygiene and dental care.
Here is a common scenario: Parents try to clean a child’s teeth, and a temper tantrum ensues, or maybe it’s a waterfall of tears. Of course, parents never want to see their little ones upset. Baby teeth will fall out in a few years anyway, they tell themselves. Soon, the child is waking up in the middle of the night with mouth pain, and it seems worse than normal teething. On closer inspection, the parents notice several cavities, and they start wondering if it’s time to start seeing the dentist.
This illustrates the two mistakes that loving, well-meaning parents often make.
- Waiting to begin cleaning teeth: Oral hygiene is important, even before your baby has teeth. Wiping the gums gently with a soft, damp cloth keeps them free of bacteria, and stimulates them. As soon as there is a tooth, it should be brushed with an infant toothbrush. As soon as there are two adjacent teeth, they should be flossed.
- Waiting too long before beginning dental care: The ADA recommends all children see a dentist when the first tooth appears, or by the first birthday. This gives us the opportunity to monitor your child’s growth and development, as well as educating you about topics like nutrition, fluoride, brushing technique, and avoiding baby bottle decay.
The idea that baby teeth don’t need care because they are temporary is a myth. Deep decay, infections, and gum disease are just as harmful – and painful – for a child as they are for an adult. Premature loss of baby teeth poses even more problems, because they are the “placeholders” for adult teeth.
In case you need any more reasons to begin your child’s oral care early, remember that habits formed now can last a lifetime. Bring your little one to Big Smile Dental, and begin a habit of making dental care fun! Call us at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment today.