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Oral Hygiene During Childhood and Its Importance

At Ashburn Children’s Dentistry, we stress the importance of oral hygiene during childhood to our patients’ parents and caregivers.  Oral care is especially important for children as their dental hygiene habits lay the foundation for how they will care for their teeth as adults.  However, outside of developing good oral care habits, there are several other reasons you should be mindful of the hygiene of your little one’s teeth:

Baby Teeth are More Vulnerable

Your child’s baby teeth come in around six months of age, and they don’t completely finish breaking through until around age two.  Many caregivers believe because baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth, their care is less important.  However, that is not the case.  Baby teeth are more susceptible to cavities than adult teeth.  We understand that getting a small child to brush is difficult.  That is why we advise to start carefully brushing your child’s teeth when the first one comes in.  That will help them get used to the routine.

Prevention of Dental Disease

Teeth are at risk for a variety of dental diseases such as gingivitis, cavities, infections, and plaque.  When you consider a child’s teeth are already more vulnerable due to lower mineralization density, it makes sense to start protecting them early.  Since they will eventually manage the care of their own teeth, brushing, flossing and using appropriate toothpaste should be a part of your child’s daily routine.  That way, they will be equipped to properly care for their teeth as they grow.

Improved Speech Development

The importance of oral hygiene during childhood extends past aesthetics.  It’s a lesser-known fact that healthy developed baby teeth affect a child’s ability to speak.  Prematurely lost or badly formed teeth can contribute to difficulty with pronunciation.  Pronunciation and speech development are intrinsically linked.  In the most extreme cases, children can develop speech impediments.

Aid In Healthy Permanent Tooth Development

Baby teeth stay with a child a long time.  It is not until they are around six years old that they lose baby teeth and gain adult teeth. As adult teeth come in, they undergo a process called second maturation. During that period, they are more porous and susceptible to bacterial collections around baby teeth as their enamel is not fully strengthened.  Taking care of your child’s baby teeth literally protects their new adult teeth from early damage.

Emphasizing the Importance of Oral Hygiene During Childhood

A common theme when discussing the importance of oral hygiene during childhood is the establishment of good habits.  More than anything else, your child’s first line of defense will be proper care and maintenance of their teeth.  If they develop bad habits young, those will carry on into adulthood.  At Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, VA, we are passionate about children’s dental health.  Let us partner with you in giving your child every advantage of oral care.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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