Ever since parents have told their young children about the "tooth fairy," there's been a popular misconception that these particular teeth are somehow throwaway commodities. They may think that because they're expected to fall out not much attention should be paid to them in terms of dental care. Yet this misconception should be rectified quickly, as primary teeth have a much more critical function in the life of your child. What do you need to consider?
Specialists believe that baby teeth or primary teeth have a specific function, and that is to help the mouth develop so that it can "deal with" the permanent replacements. In fact, the development of the primary teeth is sometimes seen as being more important than the development of the permanent ones. As a parent, if you neglect the primary teeth simply because they are temporary, then you could be setting up your child for a lot of issues with their dental health as they go through life.
Primary Teeth Can Last
Some of the primary teeth can last until your baby has developed into a teenager, which is of course a long time to neglect their care. Remember that these primary teeth are creating a specific growth path for the permanent teeth that follow, and every effort should be taken to ensure that they do this prep work as effectively as possible.
First Birthday Visit
Paediatricians and child dental specialists always recommend that a baby is brought in to the office for a preliminary visit at around their first birthday. This will allow the dentist to give a comprehensive examination to see how everything is progressing. The dentist will be able to assess a particular level of risk for the infant based on this examination and can then counsel the parents accordingly. The dentist will also be able to show how teeth should be cleaned properly and give best practice advice with regards to eating, drinking and the use of dummies or pacifiers.
Most importantly, this preliminary dental visit could help expose any potential problems or conditions that may warrant further action. Hopefully, all will be well, but if the specialist determines that there is a higher risk for dental disease development for any reason, then a specific care routine can be set. It's also possible that the dentist may want to see the baby every quarter instead of every year, in order to ensure that no other problems arise.
This is why it's important to ensure that you give the dentist at least as much attention as you do to the tooth fairy in early years!