14 Apr How Baby Teeth Affect Adult Teeth
How Baby Teeth Affect Adult Teeth
Once you have a baby, it’s natural to start to worry. It can feel like everything you do during those formative years will have a long-lasting ripple effect on the rest of their life. There’s no need to panic! With so many parents concerned about how drastically their child’s baby teeth will affect their long-term dental development, we’ve decided to put together a simple guide for you. Here is everything you need to know about how your child’s baby teeth can affect their adult teeth later in life.
For personalised dental advice, contact our team at Boroondara Family Dentist today.
The Risks of Childhood Tooth Decay
Did you know that nearly half of Australian children under the age of ten will have signs of decay in their baby teeth? Common as this is, it isn’t something to take lightly. When an infant or young child starts to experience tooth decay, they can be increasing their chances of more serious dental health issues well into adulthood. Even moderate tooth decay in children increases their likelihood of suffering decay and cavities in their future adult teeth.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this! Tooth decay is largely influenced by lifestyle and environmental habits, meaning there are practical steps parents can be taking to lower the chances of their child’s baby teeth decaying. So, what can you be avoiding?
How to Protect Your Children’s Teeth
Baby teeth may be more sensitive, but they’re ultimately not all that different from adult teeth. Infant decay tends to be a result of a constant influx of sugar slowly rotting at the tooth itself. Interestingly, the way you settle your child for sleep could be damaging their baby teeth. When you use a bottle of milk or formula to get them to sleep, the lactose and sugar content within the milk will sit in their mouths overnight.
Without the appropriate levels of saliva production to prevent damage, your child’s baby teeth will slowly be decaying overnight. Avoiding this habit is one great way to help protect your child’s teeth. Here are a few others we recommend:
- Avoid and limit sugary foods
- Encourage water instead of juice, soft drinks, or other sugary options
- Take care of your child’s teeth, just like you’d take care of yours! Start up a strict brushing and rinsing routine as soon as baby teeth start to appear
Risks on Adult Teeth Alignment
Now, we’ve covered how decay in baby teeth increases the chances of decay in adult teeth. The damage can actually go further than that, however. When teeth are damaged in childhood, they can affect the growth and alignment of adult teeth. Baby teeth play a crucial role in guiding adult teeth to grow in their correct formations.
Decay in baby teeth can lead to them falling out prematurely. When this happens, they aren’t there to guide the erupting adult teeth as necessary. This can lead to misalignment and overcrowding of the teeth. In severe cases, adult teeth can become infected as they develop beneath the decaying baby teeth.
Modelling the Right Behaviour
Monitoring your child’s diet and dental care habits is one thing, but what else can you be doing to instill a healthy future? What you need to remember is that kids are always, always watching. They see how you care for your own teeth – how you eat, how you brush, how you floss, and how you prioritise your own health. Parents can have a powerful impact on their children’s long-term dental health by taking part in healthy habits themselves.
Care for your teeth. Set the standard. It can be easier to monitor our children’s lifestyle and habits than it is to prioritise our own health. You’re the role model! Your children and teenagers are going to look to you as an example of how to prevent decay and disease into adulthood.
Book an Appointment at Boroondara Family Dentist Today for a Family Checkup
It’s never too early to instill top-notch hygiene habits. The standard you set now could shape the future of your child’s health! Here at Boroondara Family Dentist, we offer exceptional dental care for all ages. If you have any concerns about your child’s oral health, or simply want to start routine checkups early, we’re ready to help out! Call our friendly team today to book an appointment for you, your child, or every member of the family today. We look forward to seeing you!