If our kids are just going to lose their baby teeth in a few years anyway, does it really matter if they get cavities? A lot of parents think this way, but we will happily explain why that reasoning can lead to painful and expensive problems. Just because baby teeth are not forever doesn’t mean they’re not important. Baby teeth are essential for chewing food, learning to speak clearly, and mastering lifelong dental health habits like brushing and flossing.
Another crucial role they play is also guide the adult teeth into place, so if baby teeth have to be removed prematurely due to extensive disease (large and deep cavities or a dead tooth), there are undesirable consequences. Not to mention that cavities can become painful and even lead to localized infections in the mouth, which may require emergency care, and this can certainly be scary for children.
Sucking on digits or pacifiers is soothing for many babies and young toddlers, and it’s normal and natural at first. Beyond age 1, the use of a pacifier should be weaned and eventually eliminated as soon as feasible (the sooner the better).
These habits can become an oral health concern over time due to the effect that these “non-nutritive sucking” habits deform the shape of the palate (upper jaw), especially if they continue beyond age three. If you’d like suggestions on how to help your child with thumbsucking or pacifier use, we can help with that.
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