Primary teeth, more commonly referred to as “baby teeth” are all too often viewed as unimportant. After all, the child is going to lose them anyway, right? Yes, children will lose all their baby teeth but, these teeth are still VERY IMPORTANT. Baby teeth have very specific functions. They are needed to chew which allows for proper digestion of food, they hold space for the permanent teeth, contribute to proper speech development and most importantly when healthy; they help to build a child’s self-esteem.
Protecting your child’s baby teeth should be a part of your daily routine and can be accomplished by doing the following:
WIPE-before teeth appear wipe baby’s mouth after feeding with a soft, moist cloth
SMEAR-start brushing teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste AS SOON as they begin to appear.
BRUSH-from age 3 use a “Pea Size Dab” of fluoride toothpaste on a soft bristled toothbrush 2 times a day. Take your child to the dentist by age 1.
– Mellie K. Burns, RDH Program Manager EBCI Children’s Dental