Pediatric dentists, like those at Hunting Hills Dentistry in Roanoke, Virginia, recommend that parents bring their children in for a cleaning and evaluation soon after their first birthday. Although this may seem early, especially if your child only has a few teeth, establishing good dental hygiene practices with your child early on is essential to the future health of their teeth. Here, your Roanoke pediatric dentist explains why caring for baby teeth is so important.
Why do we have baby teeth?
Most mammals, including humans, go through two sets of teeth in their lifetime. A person's baby teeth, also known as primary or deciduous teeth, are present to help guide the larger teeth into place as that person grows. An infant's mouth is much too small to accommodate the large molars and incisors we have as teens and adults, so the baby teeth act as "placeholders" until the mouth is large enough to fit all of the permanent teeth.
If they're just going to fall out, why do we need to treat them for decay?
It may seem somewhat futile to guard the health of baby teeth if they're all destined to end up in the Tooth Fairy's pocket. However, as your Roanoke pediatric dentist will tell you, the health of baby teeth directly impacts that of adult teeth. Decay doesn't just affect the teeth; the bones and gum tissue surrounding them can be impacted as well, and those are the same structures that the adult teeth need for stability. Healthy baby teeth are also vital to a child's speech development and chewing habits.
If your child is due for a cleaning, bring them to Hunting Hills Dentistry in Roanoke. Our pediatric dentists are well-trained in diagnosing and treating children's dental problems and can help you and your child learn the best ways to ensure that baby teeth are healthy and strong.