shutterstock_17250295Attention all Mommy’s, “baby teeth” are just as important as permanent teeth! According to the American Dental Administration, it’s important to have a dentist examine a child within 6 months after the first tooth shows up, and no later then their first birthday. “Baby teeth” help the child chew and speak, they also retain space for the permanent teeth to grow.

When the first set of teeth come in, the child’s mouth will be sore. There are many things you can do to help your little one through this process. You can soothe your child’s gums by rubbing them with a clean finger, a tiny, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad. Teething rings that you can put in the fridge to cool, are great for soothing the pain as well. If the baby is still cranky and not having it, it’s best to consult with your dentist or physician.

Many young children start out with a habit all dentists frown upon…thumbsucking. It’s a natural reflex for children, it makes them feel secure and relaxed. However, once the permanent teeth come in, it could cause problems with proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It could also alter the palette of the mouth, and in severe cases (long-term), the child could end up with an overbite. Long-term thumbsucking can lead to all sorts of teeth problems, and the child will most likely end up having braces.

There are many helpful tips and tricks to use to stop your child from thumbsucking. Some children turn to this habit when they feel insecure or are seeking comfort. Focus on correcting the problem by addressing it with your child. If the issue still continues, try bandaging the thumb or using something to cover it. Dentists may offer a bitter medication to spray on the thumb or recommend the use of a mouthpiece.

It’s important to let your child know what can happen if they don’t break simple habits. Enforce proper dental care and routine check-ups. Make it apparent that they only get one “real” set of teeth. Your child, and your wallet, will thank you in the long-run.