Wanted to address something with all you new mom's and dad's out there. As you all probably already know I am a Registered Dental Hygienist by profession and have been practicing for 20 years. In all those years one of the most common statements I hear from parents when told that their 5 year old has mulitple cavities is , "Well it doesn't matter because the baby teeth will just fall out anyway!"
Your baby's teeth
Well guess what, it does matter! Without the baby(deciduous teeth) there is nothing there to hold the place(or position) for the permanent teeth to erupt. Kids lose their last baby tooth at about 12. So, if your child loses those teeth too early and the space is not held by a space maintaining device until the permanent tooth is developed and ready to erupt, the permanant tooth can become impacted or come in just wrong......(malpositioned or crooked)
Unfortunately to fix the result of early loss of baby teeth, it can cost money, extra time at the dental office, more pain and discomfort for your child, and extra time in orthodontics when the child gets older. So, the bottom line is maintain your baby's mouth. Take them to the dentist early(by 3 yrs old) and regularly(every 6 months). Brush their teeth twice a day, and floss( yes floss!)once per day. Limit sugar, juice, junk food ,and take away the bottle during the night(water is ok). Take away the binky as soon as you can as this can alter jaw development, and speech development. According to pediatricians, at 18 months the pacifier and the bottle should be gone altogether. To many it may seem difficult to take away your baby's bottle and pacifier because it is a comfort for them and easier for you, but in the long run you will be helping them tremendously and they will be thanking you later. I promise.