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Parents want to know,

Why should we worry about cavities in baby teeth when these teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth later ?

The answer is that baby teeth serve important functions. Neglect of baby teeth can cause severe problems. Consequently, it is important to make sure that even these "temporary" baby teeth remain healthy and cavity free.

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  1. Healthy baby teeth are crucial in helping the baby learn how to speak properly.

  2. Healthy and nice looking teeth are important in building self-confidence and self-esteem. This is especially important at such an early age. Unfortunately, small children can be cruel to one another quick to tease peers about ugly looking or decayed teeth. Furthermore, bad breath resulting from poor dental hygiene can make your child an outcast among peers.

  3. Baby teeth serve as spacers which maintain the proper spacing and alignment of the teeth so that permanent teeth have enough room to come in.

  4. Baby teeth are important in proper feeding and nutrition. A recent study has illustrated a potential link between the number of cavities a child has and the probability of the child being underweight.

    It is crucial to note that the proper care of baby teeth is not only important now but for the future as well.

    You see, early dental care gets a child accustomed to a clean cavity free mouth. Because children become accustomed to clean teeth they will continue with the proper habits to ensure this clean feeling in the future as well.

    Poor dental care can easily lead to childhood periodontal disease. This is a condition in which bacteria invade the gums and ligaments supporting the teeth. Unchecked, periodontal disease can cause teeth to fall out and bone to erode, creating major problems for permanent teeth if and when they do come in.

    Remember to wipe a baby's mouth with a clean gauze pad or washcloth to remove plaque. If your child is old enough get them in the habit of brushing their own teeth but always remember to brush their teeth after they are finished brushing.

    Finally make sure your child sees a dentist regularly starting by the age of 1.