Will Crooked Teeth in your Baby be a Permanent Problem?

Published: 09th September 2008
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Infants develop baby teeth around the age of five to eight months. Often baby teeth, or "milk teeth," as they are sometimes called, are not straight. These teeth are not permanent. Even so, adequate baby teeth care and maintenance is necessary to pave the way for permanent teeth. Teeth also affect speech, eating habits, and appearance.

Here are some important facts related to crooked baby teeth that you should keep in mind:

• Crookedness of teeth is natural, but may be aggravated due to prolonged sucking of the thumb, toys, or other household objects.

• Having crooked baby teeth does not necessarily lead to crooked adult teeth.

• Research shows that babies who are bottled fed are more likely to develop crooked teeth compared to breast-fed babies.

• Food tends to accumulate in the gaps between baby teeth and can lead to tooth decay.

Prevention and Treatment

• As far as possible, consider breast-feeding instead of bottle-feeding.

• Parents need to prevent their children from sucking the thumb or any object without harshness or use of force. Remember that most children tend to stop this habit as they grow up.

• If parents find it difficult to stop the child's thumb-sucking habit, they can consider using a pacifier; this will also eventually need to be given up as the child grows up.

• Brush your baby's teeth regularly to prevent any tooth decay.

• As the child grows up, braces may be considered if the permanent teeth are also crooked.

Here are some ways to care for your baby's teeth:

• If your baby needs a bottle to fall asleep, give him only water in a bottle or a cup. Liquids other than water contain sugar. Feeding at bedtime may leave sugar on teeth all night. Then sugar has more time to turn into tooth decay.

• If you feed your baby formula, always hold him while feeding. Never prop the bottle.

• If you use a pacifier, keep it clean. Don't coat it with anything.

• Wipe your baby's teeth and gums every night. Use a wet, clean, soft washcloth.

Paul Banas is a founder of GreatDad.com. He writes articles on pregnancy care, baby names, toilet training, parenting tips and many more topics related to dads.

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