Why Adults Should Care About Baby Teeth

Dr. David Markiewicz

At Markiewicz Dental of Mundelein, we help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.  That begins as early as 1 year old.  We are your dental office for Children’s Dentistry.  At Markiewicz Dental of Mundeleinwhat sets us apart is our commitment to you, our valued patients.  We focus on delivering the kind of outstanding experience that exceeds your expectations.  We strive to make every phone call and every office visit an exceptional experience.  That includes children.  We have been serving our community since 1988 and we even treat four generations of some families!!

Each of us will have two sets of teeth in our lifetime: baby teeth and adult teeth. Although baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth, they can be just as important. They help your child chew, speak, smile, and they hold space for the adult teeth. So, how can you best take care of your child’s teeth before they fall out? Well, it all starts with taking care of your own teeth.

Many studies have proven that children are more likely to have decay on baby teeth if their parents have decay on their adult teeth. Dental decay occurs when specific bacteria build up on the tooth and eat away at its surface. Preventing decay in baby teeth is important for your child’s oral and overall health. If a child has untreated dental decay, it can lead to unnecessary pain, expensive dental bills, missed school days, and early loss of their baby teeth. Losing baby teeth earlier than expected can cause crowding of the adult teeth.

Babies are not born with the bacteria that causes dental decay. Instead, the bacteria is often transferred to them from their parents. When you share spoons or forks with your child, lick their pacifier when it falls on the floor, or even give them a kiss on the lips, you can transfer harmful bacteria without realizing. Try to avoid acts that might move saliva from you to your child. Transferring some saliva is bound to happen, so visit the dentist regularly and brush your teeth to limit the amount of decay-causing bacteria in your own mouth.

After you brush your teeth, help your child brush theirs. Studies have shown that a child’s brushing habits are largely influenced by their parents. Daily brushing and flossing is the best way to limit tooth decay. Encouraging and teaching your child to brush their teeth can have a lasting impact on their oral hygiene, well into their adult years. Most children cannot effectively brush on their own until they are eight-years-old, so it is important that you continue to help them as they grow up. Assist them and teach them to brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes with fluoridated tooth paste. The fluoride strengthens the surface of baby and adult teeth, which further prevents decay. Children who have dental decay on their baby teeth are more likely to develop dental decay on their adult teeth, so forming healthy habits early is not only good for their baby teeth, but also their adult teeth.

Even though your child will lose their baby teeth, they should be cared for as if they were permanent. Maintaining baby teeth largely falls on the adults who care for them. Simply keeping your own teeth healthy and brushing your teeth regularly can have a positive impact on your child’s oral health. By helping prevent dental decay and forming good oral hygiene habits with your children, you can help them keep their smiles for a lifetime.

Drs. David and Anthony Markiewicz can help your child develop great habits that will help your child keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Works Cited:

Borges H, Saliba Garbín C, Saliba O, Saliba N, Saliba Moimaz S. Socio-behavioral factors influence prevalence and severity of dental caries in children with primary dentition. Brazilian Oral Research [serial online]. November 2012;26(6):564-570. Available from: Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September10, 2017.

Hall-Scullin E, Whitehead H, Milsom K, Tickle M, Su T, Walsh T. Longitudinal Study of Caries Development from Childhood to Adolescence. Journal Of Dental Research [serial online]. July 2017;96(7):762-767. Available from: Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 10, 2017.

Sujlana A, Pannu P. Family related factors associated with caries prevalence in the primary dentition of five-year-old children. Journal Of The Indian Society Of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry [serial online]. April 2015;33(2):83-87. Available from: Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 10, 2017.

SKEIE M, RAADAL M, STRAND G, ESPELID I. The relationship between caries in the primary dentition at 5 years of age and permanent dentition at 10 years of age – a longitudinal study. International Journal Of Paediatric Dentistry [serial online]. May 2006;16(3):152-160. Available from: Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source, Ipswich, MA.Accessed September 10, 2017.

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