Healthy teeth mean healthy speech

Maple Bear

No matter what else may be going on in the day, seeing a smile blossom across a preschooler’s face always brings joy. Keeping those pearly whites clean and healthy is crucial - and not just because they complete that adorable grin.

Dental health has a strong correlation with proper speech development. Teeth play a role in pronunciation and articulation of words and syllables. Remember that temporary lisp you had when you lost your front teeth in Grade 2? Whether they are baby teeth or the adult teeth that eventually replace those, teeth are an essential component of the human speech production system and language acquisition.

Dentists recommend that brushing should become part of the bedtime and breakfast routine as soon as the first little tooth pokes through. In fact, it’s good to get into the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums even before teeth have come in. It is also much easier to avoid plaque build up, cavities, and the related discomfort and damage that comes with that, by maintaining a healthy diet that is low on sugary foods. Finally, avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle: the milk sugars (found in breast milk, formula, and cow’s milk) that remain lingering in the mouth after baby dozes off contribute to speeding up tooth decay - and the sucking action on the bottle is even linked to ear infections!

Good oral hygiene resonates in both the immediate and the long-term, and establishing simple habits early in life will help keep the spark in their speech and sparkle in their smile for life.