February is National Children’s Dental Health month and we want to take a moment to consider the importance of pediatric dentistry: keeping your child’s teeth strong and healthy- even their primary, or “baby” teeth.
At Barataria Dental, Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill, pediatric dentists in Marrero, recommend that children begin to come in for routine dental visits around the age of 3- this is approximately when all primary teeth have erupted.
These preventive care visits are an important part of your child’s physical health and well being at a time when they are growing and establishing routines that can last a lifetime! Keeping your child’s primary teeth healthy is important for many reasons and early preventive care visits give Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill the opportunity to teach proper brushing and flossing techniques. The staff of Barataria Dental also takes the time to emphasize the role that a healthy diet can play in reducing tooth decay and keeping teeth strong and healthy for the long run.
Your child’s primary teeth play a role in their speech development and nutrition: strong, healthy teeth allow a child to eat a wide variety of foods and enable their speech patterns to develop normally. Children who lose these early teeth to decay may have trouble eating a varied, healthy diet and may also develop altered speech patterns at a time when they are mastering these skills for future development. These teeth also serve as “place holders” for the permanent teeth, helping to ensure their proper alignment when they come in between the ages of 6 and 12.
Although the incidence of cavities in young patients has been declining in recent years, there has been a slight increase in cavities for pediatric patients. Early visits to the dentist can enable Dr. Burmaster or Dr. Hemphill to spot cavities in their early phases when conservative treatment can be most effective and serve to keep the tooth strong and healthy. Left untreated, tooth decay in a young patient may eventually lead to the loss of a primary tooth.