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The Importance of Healthy Baby Teeth

My baby is too fussy to let me brush or wipe his/or her teeth.

I am trying to get my baby to sleep and don’t have time to take care of his or her teeth.

I give my baby a bottle before bed to soothe them to sleep.

My baby is crying because he or she is teething.

We hear these types of comments all the time from parents of infants. Having an infant is a blessing, but it’s also a challenge. It’s difficult to get your baby to sit still, let alone to brush or wipe his or her teeth. Yet, we shouldn’t take primary teeth lightly as they are very important. Primary teeth pave the way for the health of secondary teeth and should be treated the same way. Here are some important things you should know about primary teeth and why taking your child to a dentist by age 1 can make a very positive impact on their future dental health.

  1. Teach brushing early – getting your child accustomed to brushing teeth time is important in creating good habits that last their whole lives.


  1. Primary teeth can have cavities and deteriorate to the point of needing a crown – just because your child’s teeth will fall out, doesn’t mean they cannot get cavities. Cavities can also progress without a parent knowing due to the challenges of communication with a baby. It’s not like you can ask your young infant if they are having a toothache and get an answer like you would from one in elementary school. The only way to get in front of primary teeth cavities is to take your child to the dentist as soon as they start showing teeth.


  1. Do not soothe your child to sleep with a bottle – Formula and breast milk contain sugars that can stay on your baby’s teeth while they are asleep, leading to decay. Soothing is a crucial part of the bedtime routine, but after six months of age, your baby is usually not hungry at this time. Try another method such as reading a book, singing a song softly or playing comforting music.


  1. The health of primary teeth leads to the correct formation of jawbones and muscles – if primary teeth experience extreme decay, it can affect the correct alignment and development of your child’s jawbones and muscles.


  1. They serve as placeholders for permanent teeth – Issues with extreme decay as mentioned above can also mess with the development of proper spacing and alignment of permanent teeth.


  1. They affect speech and appearance – using a pacifier for too long or extended thumb sucking can influence your child’s smile and tooth alignment, plus add to decay.




Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama is led by top-rated pediatric dentists with locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Medplex-Hoover, Oxford and Pell City. Our vision is to be the premier provider of pediatric dental services in Alaba

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