As a parent, have you ever hidden an infant's tooth underneath the pillow, so that it magically turns into a coin? This strange tradition is meant to make your kids believe in the existence of the "tooth fairy," but ends up giving the kids the wrong impression of their teeth—that they are somehow disposable commodities. Surely, if your teeth are expected to fall out and can be traded in for cash, why do you need to pay attention to their care from an ongoing perspective? To ensure that your children understand how primary teeth give way to replacements that must be cared for, what do you need to think about?
Why Are Baby Teeth so Important?
Baby teeth have a very important role to play, as they train the body to get ready for permanent replacements. The inside of the mouth needs to develop, and it's the primary teeth that help everything take its proper place. Dentists believe that the primary teeth are equally as important as the permanent ones for this reason and worry that parents do not pay enough attention. If they think that these initial teeth are just temporary, then they may not look after them like they should.
Did you know that primary teeth can last well into the teenage years, and if their care is neglected, all kinds of long-term issues can fester? The primary teeth are, after all, forging the correct "channel" for permanent teeth to grow into. They should be allowed to do this work efficiently and in good health.
It's important to take your child in to the dentist's office from a very early stage, on or around their first birthday. The dentist will be able to have a look at the child to see how everything is progressing as part of a full examination. Often, the dentist will be able to see if any problems are likely to materialise and can give the parents the proper advice based on this information. The expert will also exhibit proper cleaning practices and make sure that the parents understand how to use pacifiers or dummies correctly.
It's crucial that potential issues are found as soon as possible during this initial dental visit. In some cases, a toddler could be prone to the development of certain diseases even from that stage, and a special kind of care routine would be called for. After the first visit, the dentist will recommend whether the toddler should be seen once per quarter instead of annually, if need be.
Your Turn Next
So, rather than focusing on a cash exchange for a redundant tooth, make an appointment with your dentist instead.