The Importance of Oral Health for Children

The future of your child’s teeth is dependent on oral health during the first years of life. Especially during the first two, it is imperative to establish a regular brushing routine with your child, since the enamel of primary teeth is less densely mineralized, which causes them to be cavity-prone.

Primary teeth set the foundation for permanent teeth, so if they are laden with cavities, the next set of teeth will be at a higher risk for developing decay. If the primaries are healthy, permanent teeth will follow suit. If brushing teeth is made an enjoyable and daily part of your child’s hygiene routine at an early age, dental visits will be a breeze and your wallet will thank you.

Primary teeth will begin to erupt from the start of six months to approximately two and a half years old, which is when primary dentition, the first set of teeth, will be completed. These teeth are vital prerequisites in learning correct pronunciation as children start entering their first year of preschool around this time. They also play a role in the proper alignment and spacing of permanent teeth so keeping them heathy is key.

Premature loss of primary teeth due to poor oral care results in complications for permanent teeth. Under normal circumstances, when a tooth is lost, the permanent tooth follows its path of eruption to guide it into its proper position.

Additionally, since the primary holds its position until time has come for it to erupt, the tooth acts as a stabilizer for neighboring teeth by keeping them in place. When a primary tooth is lost prematurely, its stabilizing influence could cause neighboring teeth to drift or tilt forward. This movement has the potential to change the way the teeth are aligned and bite against the molar. In the worst case scenario, the shifting of primary teeth could cause an erupting primary tooth to become impacted.

To prevent these problems from occurring, it is up to the parents to take the lead for establishing proper oral care. After the age of two, when the child begins to brush their own teeth, parents should provide extra encouragement and re-brush thoroughly when the child is finished to reach any places which might have been missed.

Since your child’s mouth is going through a great deal of changes with the loss of one tooth and the emergence of another, it is crucial that parents need to help their children brush their teeth on a daily basis.