Even if only a few tiny teeth are peeking out of your baby’s gums, it’s not too early to schedule their first dental visit! Even though they will lose those baby teeth one day, your child’s dental health remains detrimental throughout the entirety of their development. Poor dental hygiene can have enduring negative effects on a child’s long-term wellbeing!
Good Dental Health Will… Help to Prevent Future Problems
Defend Against Decay
Though adults are much more likely to deal with most dental diseases, tooth decay is a very poignant exception in children. A type of decay called Early Childhood Caries (ECC) can wreak havoc on their entire mouth! Since their primary teeth will one day leave to provide space for permanent ones, the placeholders they leave behind should be kept as healthy as possible. If the decay were to cause them to prematurely fall out, nearby teeth may even drift into the unoccupied cavity and crowd out the teeth to come!
Lower Risk of Disease
Conditions linked to poor oral health can be serious—even life-threatening! If you let your child’s dental health fall, they might begin their adulthood with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s and heart disease. An infection of the lining of heart chambers and valves, called endocarditis, can come from bacteria that leak into the bloodstream through the mouth. When they leak into the lungs, it can lead to pneumonia! If you want to provide your child with their best chance to lead a happy and healthy life, fostering good dental hygiene is a must.
Good Dental Health Will… Elevate Articulation and Confidence
The positioning of teeth affects airflow in the mouth, which in turn determines the ease one experiences in speaking. In developing youth, decay can have a negative impact on this positioning and thus negatively influence their speech development. Alongside this, poor dental health can also affect the formation of your child’s facial muscles, which can further their difficulty in expressing themselves verbally!
Your child’s confidence in their smile will surely affect their self-esteem. It is important to treat their teeth as if they were permanent in order to help them feel self-assured and comfortable while relating with their peers. Evidence even suggests that poor dental health in children may be linked with lower grades and worse attendance!
Good Dental Health Will… Promote Good Habits
Encourage Proper Nutrition
The pain that accompanies oral diseases and dental issues can make it hard for a child to chew, inducing difficulty in getting a properly balanced diet. In turn, if children aren’t getting the nutrition their bodies need, their teeth and gums will suffer even more! Strong and healthy teeth will turn this cycle around, encouraging healthy eating and the development of even stronger chompers.
Reduce Dental Fear
Many children are afraid of dentists early on, and this fear can even continue into adulthood. A negative connotation with dentistry can prevent their future selves from addressing issues early on and getting regular cleanings. On the contrary, you can help your kid build a positive association at a young age by starting their dental checkups in infancy and maintaining them throughout their childhood.
Getting your child started on a good oral hygiene routine is a great way to provide them with a healthy start in life! This might include: wiping their gums as a baby, helping them brush and floss their teeth as they get older, serving them tooth-nourishing meals, and scheduling regular checkups with a kid-friendly dentist! If your child has any health conditions, it is especially important to collaborate with a good pediatric dentist on a plan to keep their teeth thriving throughout their lifetime.