Your Healthy Family

Feb 6, 2012 9:14 AM by Jennifer Horbelt

Caring for your child's baby teeth: does it matter?

How important is it to take care of your child's baby teeth? Sure, they'll lose them eventually, but with February being National Children's Dental Health Month, local dentists are urging you to start good oral hygiene habits early.

"I do the top twice, and then the bottom twice," Jourdan Zambrano explained while brushing her 18-month-old daughter Maggie's teeth.

Maggie knows the daily drill for taking care of her teeth: once in the morning after she gets dressed, and once at night before bedtime.

"As far as cleanliness goes, and cavities, and tartar control, that is something that I have to keep on top of," Zambrano said of why it's important to keep Maggie's teeth clean. "You start with the baby teeth, but after those baby teeth are gone, you gotta' know how to care for the long term, the permanent teeth."

Maggie's friends have moms who know the importance of good oral hygiene too.

"She got her first tooth at three and a half months. So, we've been at this for awhile," Jamie Bachicha told News 5 of taking care of her daughter Chloe's teeth.

At Family Smiles in Pueblo, Dr. Jamie L. Johnson, DDS says not caring for those baby teeth can cause bigger problems than just cavities for your little one.

"It can lead to caps, crowns on the teeth. It can lead to abscess teeth, sometimes hospitalizations. Certainly missed school," Dr. Johnson said.

It's tough for parents though, since not all kids get excited about dental care. So, Dr. Johnson says make it fun for them.

"The wow factor. We like something that makes them say, cool!" Dr. Johnson said.

Zambrano's learned that trick with Maggie.

"I have her little Care Bears tooth brush, it's her favorite. And that helps too, that she likes the toothbrush. I just put a little bit of toothpaste on there, not a whole lot," Zambrano said.

"Be a good example for your kid. Brush your teeth, floss your teeth, do it with your children in the bathroom so that they can see you doing it," Dr. Johnson said.

Because the building blocks of a healthy mouth start at home.

"I just have to hope that I taught her something that stuck," Zambrano said.

Just not to Maggie's teeth.

"There we go, all done!" Zambrano said, praising Maggie for a toothbrushing job well done.

For more information on caring for your child's teeth and National Children's Dental Health Month, click here.



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