9 September 2020

Is it actually important to look after your kids teeth?

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Gentle & patient children's dentist Heidelberg


This is a question that we get asked all the time ‘why look after kids teeth when they are going to fall out anyway?’. "Do we have to treat it? It's going to fall out"

There are a few very important reasons why it’s absolutely essential to look after kids teeth:

Does baby teeth health determine the health of a child's future adult teeth?

Yes, it does! If someone has a lot of decay in their baby teeth, they are more than likely to get issues with their adult teeth as well. This is due to their being a variety of factors that cause decay, and if the cause isn't dealt with early it continues on with the adult teeth. The baby teeth also help shape the face, and guide the positioning of the adult teeth.

Sets up positive dental habits in kids for life

It is essential to establish oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily and flossing, early on in life. 

Similarly, it’s vital to educate children about the negative effects of sugar and acids on teeth, and the importance of regular dental checkups. 

This helps to make sure that these values and habits carry on into adulthood, hence greatly helping to protect the adult teeth. 

Being careless with oral hygiene and diet and/or infrequent dental checkups during childhood often results in neglected adult teeth and a lifetime of dental problems.


Help your kids avoid toothaches & negative dental experiences

When a primary tooth (especially a primary molar) gets decay, it tends to spread through the tooth very quickly. In many cases. the tooth ends up becoming infected and often very painful toothache which can be highly distressing for a young child. These teeth often end up needing to be extracted which many children will associate with fear and a negative dental experience. These fears will often carry into adulthood leading to avoidance of dental checkups and neglect of dental health.


Help ensure proper eruption and development of adult teeth

If a primary tooth is lost too early (even as little as 6 months) due to decay which leads to a subsequent extraction, it can cause movement of adjacent teeth into the space and/or affect the eruption of the succeeding adult tooth. Both of these can lead to crowded and/or misaligned teeth which potentially need orthodontic treatment to correct. 

Losing a primary tooth early due to extensive decay and infection can also impact the health and appearance of the succeeding adult tooth leading to potential aesthetic concerns and other dental problems.


Does kids' dental hygiene help build proper speech & eating habits?

The position of teeth greatly affects the movement and musculature of the tongue and cheeks. If these are affected due to early tooth loss and/or misaligned teeth, then speech can also be temporarily affected which can greatly affect a child’s self confidence.

A full set of primary teeth are also essential for chewing. Early loss of molars in particular can impact a child’s ability to chew harder foods which can impact their nutrition and health.
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