Here at SmileTown Dentistry in Burnaby, we get a lot of questions from curious parents about the importance of early dental care for their kids. How will it benefit them in the long run?
Many parents wonder, given the temporary nature of primary (baby) teeth, whether it’s really necessary to worry too much about them. They’re just going to fall out anyway, right?
Plus, kids don’t always have the most favourable reactions to visiting the dentist. Some feel scared and anxious. Others feel annoyed, bored, or just plain uncomfortable. So is it really worth putting them through it?
The fact of the matter is that early dental treatment for children can have an enormous impact on their long-term oral health. This is true for a few different reasons, which we’ll outline here.
Baby teeth, which typically last between the ages of 6 and 13, play an extremely important role in children’s oral health, both while they’re still there, and long after they’ve fallen out, too.
Strong, healthy primary teeth allow children to properly chew and digest all the nutritious foods they need for their day-to-day lives, and to grow into strong, healthy adults.
Primary teeth also function to create space in the mouth for the permanent (adult) teeth that will eventually replace them. In a sense, they function as a guide for the adult teeth as they emerge.
If a child loses his or her primary teeth too early due to decay, the adult teeth may not have the room they need to grow in properly.
This can result in crowded or misaligned teeth, or a variety of different bite issues. These issues can make speaking and eating difficult, and they also make teeth more difficult to clean, resulting in further decay.
Taking good care of primary teeth as soon as they start to emerge can help prevent cavities, and the need for uncomfortable, often expensive orthodontic appliances, like space maintainers and braces.
Early Dental Care for a Lifetime of Oral Health
Aside from these more obvious health benefits, early visits to the dentist can go a long way in ensuring that your kids continue visiting the dentist regularly once they’re grown up.
Since regular visits to the dentist are fundamental to good oral health, bringing your children to their Burnaby children's dentist when they’re still very young can help establish good oral health habits in the long run.
Kids who visit the dentist regularly from an early age have ample opportunity to get used to it. They’ll understand the process better, feel less anxious about it, and have healthier teeth, too.
Healthier teeth lead to fewer uncomfortable procedures, which in turn will result in fewer negative experiences in the dentist’s chair.
As these children grow up, they’ll come to view going to the dentist as a positive experience, and this will be reinforced each time they visit. Adults who have had positive childhood experiences with dental care are much less likely to avoid visiting the dentist.