Caring for Primary Teeth
Baby teeth are as important to babies and children as permanent teeth are to older children and adults. Not only do these first teeth enable your child to chew, make sounds and speak clearly, they help maintain the shape of the mouth and face as she grows, and save space for future permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early because of an accident or poor dental health, nearby teeth can shift or move into the vacant space, giving the permanent tooth less room to grow.
If a baby tooth is lost too early because of an accident or poor dental health, nearby teeth can shift or move into the vacant space, giving the permanent tooth less room to grow.
To help keep your child’s baby teeth healthy, start brushing them when the first tooth appears, and teach her to do it on her own as soon as she is ready. Because it may take some practice before toddlers can reach all the areas of their mouth with a toothbrush, you may want to supervise at least one of their two daily brushing sessions.10
Fast Fluoride Facts
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many sources of water, including the ocean. At proper levels, fluoride helps strengthen teeth. It works by preventing the loss of important minerals from tooth enamel and helps those minerals reattach to the surface. The American Dental Hygienists' Association says using fluoridated water and fluoride products are good ways to help maintain oral health and keep more permanent teeth.11
There are several ways to make sure your toddler gets the right amount of fluoride. The most common is fluoride toothpaste, which is fine after age two. Your local water supply may contain the appropriate level of fluoride for optimal dental health, but if it doesn't, bottled fluoridated water can be another convenient option.12