As parents, we want the best for our children. With an influx of myths and misconceptions out there, however, it can sometimes be difficult to sort through what is fact and what is fiction. The following are some common myths about children’s teeth that parents should be aware of.
Myth #1: Baby teeth aren’t important
Many people think that baby teeth are unimportant because they fall out; however, this is not true. Baby teeth are just as important to a child’s overall health as their permanent teeth are. Not only do baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent adult teeth, they are also just as susceptible to the same decay as permanent teeth. Not to mention, baby teeth issues can still cause your child pain and discomfort, which in and of itself is a good enough reason to take care of them.
Myth #2: Children are OK to brush their own teeth
It’s hard enough for adults to brush their teeth properly, let alone little kids. While it may appear that they can brush their own teeth, it’s highly unlikely your child will be able to clean all those hard to reach places. Giving them the opportunity to get in the habit of brushing their teeth is a good idea, but you may want to oversee some of their brushing efforts to make sure the job is getting done.
Myth #3: Babies have “soft” teeth, which are more susceptible to cavities
Although babies have a reputation for being cuddly and soft, their teeth are far from that. In fact, the enamel of both baby teeth and permanent teeth is the hardest substance in the body. The main reason little kids tend to get cavities and such is because of their diet. It is rich in milk, baby food and juice, which all contribute to cavity causing bacteria.
Myth #4: Fluoride toothpaste is harmful to children
A lot of research has been done to determine the health hazards of fluoride. Evidence shows that fluoride is actually extremely helpful for preventing cavities, but should only be used sparingly.
Myth #5: Children don’t have to go to the dentist until they start school
It is actually recommended by most pediatric dentists that you bring your child in once their first tooth erupts, which usually occurs around age 1. Having children come to the dentist’s office early on will help ensure that their dental health is in tip-top shape and no cavities are present. As mentioned before, baby teeth are just as important to keep healthy and shouldn’t be neglected. It’s also important for the child to get used to visiting the dentist so they can dismiss any fears, establish a preventative plan to fight tooth decay and have an emergency contact in case of a dental emergency.