Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits early can lead to a lifelong healthy smile, but did you know that just because babies do not have any visible teeth, doesn’t mean they cannot get cavities? A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. Those baby teeth begin coming through the gums around 6 months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth.
Baby teeth matter
When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come. The ADA recommends that parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recommended by their dentist.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. That’s why it’s so important to take care of it. Cavities aren’t just for little kids—you can get them at any age. When you consume sugary foods, soda, juice or energy drinks, you put yourself at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Be smart. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.
The bottom line for smiles that are healthy on the inside and out:
- Always brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes
- Floss between your teeth daily
- Avoid sugary and starchy snacks
- Wear a mouthguard when you’re active
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t pierce your lips or any part of your mouth
- See your dentist. Regular dental visits will help set you up to be Mouth Healthy for Life.
Source: ADA - mouthhealthy.com