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Did you know that your baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws when he or she is born? Over the coming months and years, these will gradually start to appear. And although they are only temporary, these first teeth play a vital role in a child’s growth and development. Taking good care of them can help ensure good oral health for a lifetime.

Children’s primary, or baby, teeth play an essential role in their early development. As teeth come in, they help facilitate eating and early speech. They also serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth that are growing in. If for some reason a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth replacing it can face a variety of problems, including coming in crooked or drifting and blocking other teeth.

This is why it is so important to take care of children’s baby teeth, even though they are only temporary. As a parent, you should start this habit even before your baby gets his or her first tooth. Rub baby’s gums with a clean cloth or piece of gauze after feedings. Begin brushing once a tooth appears. Use a brush with soft bristles and a rice-sized dab of toothpaste. This can be increased to a pea-sized dab once your child is 3 years old. Children’s brushing needs to be supervised until they can do it without swallowing on their own, usually by age 6 or so.

By taking proper care of your child’s teeth, you are setting him or her up for good oral health into adulthood. To learn more about what you can do for your child’s teeth, please call Houston Cosmetic & Family Dental Associates in Spring, TX, today. Dr. Kenneth Kirk is eager to work with your entire family.