Babies and Toddlers, Children's Dental care
Alpharetta, GA – Most parents probably don’t put much thought into their children’s baby teeth once they come in. After all, they are only temporary, right? Not so fast says Alpharetta pediatric dentist Dr. Nanna Ariaban.
“Baby teeth may only be temporary, but they serve an important purpose,” says Dr. Nanna, who treats children of all ages.
“Parents should pay close attention to keep them healthy because they are the placeholders for the permanent teeth. Losing them too early to decay can impact how the permanent teeth come in, and in some cases, lead to the need for orthodontic treatment that otherwise wouldn’t have been needed.”
So, here are some interesting facts about baby teeth to keep in mind.
- Not every baby is born toothless. In fact, about one in 3,000 is born with at least one tooth already erupted.
- When your child is born, all 20 primary teeth are waiting just below the gums.
- The first baby tooth usually erupts between the ages of six and 12 months.
- Teeth should be brushed as soon as they first appear.
- Children should visit a dentist for the first time after their first tooth erupts, but no later than the first birthday.
- Drooling is actually beneficial during teething. It helps to keep the gums moistened and prevents inflammation.
- Children typically lose their first baby tooth around the age of 6.
- Your child doesn’t have to wait until all of their baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent ones are in before they get braces. There are some instances where early orthodontic treatment can actually prevent much more serious issues in the future.
- Two out of every 10 children under the age of 11 grind their teeth, but most will grow out of it.
- A mother’s diet and nutrition during pregnancy can impact the health of her unborn child’s teeth. Teeth begin to form just a month after conception, so it’s important that pregnant women consume the right vitamins and minerals to ensure their unborn child’s teeth form properly.
- Early childhood caries, or tooth decay, is the number one childhood disease. It is five times more common that asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
- About 15% of children suck their thumbs past the age of five, which can cause damage to the permanent teeth and the shape of the mouth.
“Paying attention to what goes on in your child’s mouth is important,” says Dr. Nanna. “Dental decay and cavities can cause pain, making it difficult for your child to eat and speak. In fact, dental decay is one of the most common reasons for children to miss school. And the prevalence of decay in children is almost entirely preventable.”
Dr. Nanna says it’s never too early to have your children evaluated by a dentist.
If you think something may be wrong, or have any concerns, it’s important to check with a dentist right away. While the first official check-up should happen by the age of one, children can be seen earlier if parents are concerned there may be an issue.
“Studies continue to show us that children have improved nutrition, sleep, and school performance following treatment for severe cavities,” says Dr. Nanna. “But we can prevent this from ever happening by paying attention to our children’s oral hygiene and making sure it is a priority.”
Children often pick up their habits from their parents, so if you model good oral hygiene habits, your children will follow your example. If you have any questions about your child’s development or the health of his or her mouth, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nanna.