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Why It’s Important to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth

Many new parents are confused when they learn that they should take their baby to see a dentist. It may seem strange to take a child to an oral health specialist when that child has only one or two teeth, or even no teeth at all. There is also a common misconception among the public that, since the baby teeth will eventually fall out, it is a waste of time and money to care for them. However, it is very important to care for baby teeth, as this care will set the stage for the teeth to come. In addition, conditions like baby bottle tooth decay do affect children, and a pediatric dentist can recognize and treat them before they cause significant damage. Keep reading for more information on infant oral care from our Denver pediatric dentist.

When Do a Baby’s First Teeth Come in?

A baby’s first teeth, sometimes called “milk teeth”, typically begin to appear when the baby is anywhere from 6 months to 1 year old. Most children have a full set of teeth by the time they are three years old (20 teeth, to be exact; only adults have 32). Usually, the first teeth to come in are the top and bottom front teeth. Molars are usually the last to erupt. With that said, every child is different, so don’t be too concerned if your child is not yet 1 year old and you do not see any new teeth.

Why are Baby Teeth Important?

Even though they are nonpermanent, baby teeth are very important to your child’s oral health and development. Firstly, they will enable him or her chew, speak and smile properly. More importantly, they will hold space in the jaws for the permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gums. If a baby tooth is lost too early due to tooth decay or other circumstances, a permanent tooth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make the teeth crooked or crowded, and make orthodontic treatments more complex and costly.

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that you bring your infant to a pediatric dentist after the first tooth comes in, and no later than his or her first birthday. This first dentist visit will be essentially a brief wellness checkup, primarily focused on educating you about proper oral care techniques. The dentist can also show you how to handle common infant oral issues you may be encountering, like teething and thumb sucking.

Need a Pediatric Dentist in Denver NC?

Then head over to Denver Pediatric Dentistry! Our board-certified children’s dentists are specially trained to handle pediatric oral health needs, from childhood to adolescence. To schedule an appointment with our office, please contact our office today.