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What happens to your baby's teeth won't affect their adult teeth, right? Think again! It's a common misconception that a child gets a fresh start when his or her used baby teeth fall out in favor of shiny, new, adult teeth. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and bad dental habits practiced early on can affect a child well into adulthood.
Poor dental habits with your baby can lead to childhood periodontal disease, in which bacteria invade gums and ligaments that support teeth. Left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause teeth to fall out prematurely and tooth socket bones to erode. This could potentially lead to serious problems for permanent teeth when they eventually come to replace the ailing baby teeth.
To avoid putting your baby's future adult teeth in jeopardy, make sure you clean your infant's teeth twice daily until he or she is ready to brush without your help. Also, a child should see a pediatric dentist regularly as soon as teething begins, so make sure you have a good family dental plan before this becomes an issue.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|