There are many misconceptions and misinformation about teeth, especially regarding children’s teeth. Many assume that because baby teeth fall out or kids are young with so much time ahead, taking care of their oral health is not as important. Read on to learn more about common pediatric oral health myths and how to care for your child’s teeth.
Myth: Baby teeth don’t matter since they will fall out anyway.
The primary teeth play a vital part in development, from chewing and speaking to facial structure. They also maintain space for permanent teeth to come in correctly. For example, if a baby’s tooth is lost to disease or injury, the teeth around it could shift and block the growth of the permanent tooth, causing it to erupt crookedly or become impacted.
Myth: Children don’t need to brush their teeth until permanent ones come in.
Even before teeth appear, taking care of your baby’s mouth is important by wiping the gums with a damp gauze pad after every feeding. After the first teeth erupt, you should clean them using a small soft-bristled toothbrush and dab of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. Even if the baby only has one or two teeth, they should be brushed twice daily.
Myth: Young children don’t need to floss.
Flossing is necessary for good dental hygiene for children because it can reach between the teeth and under the gums to remove plaque or food that a toothbrush can’t get to. Once your baby’s teeth begin touching, you should begin flossing them once daily. Even though convincing a toddler or teen to floss can be a challenge in itself, the consequences of neglect are much worse (and more expensive).
Myth: Children can brush their teeth by themselves.
Since infants and young children have not developed the skills to properly brush or floss their teeth, parents must pick up the slack until their child is old enough to take over. Stay in the room to ensure they brush long enough with the right amount of toothpaste; many parents even brush their teeth simultaneously to monitor and bond with their kid(s). If they are old enough to brush alone, schedule annual in-office exams with a pediatric dentist to give their teeth a deep cleaning and ensure there are no issues.
Schedule a Dental Exam
If you have questions or concerns about your little one’s oral health, contact our office to schedule an exam with a Plantation pediatric dentist, Tamarac pediatric dentist, or Davie pediatric dentist. We understand how scary the dentist can be for kids, especially if it’s their first time. That’s why we go above and beyond to create a safe environment where children of all ages can relax, have fun, and get the care they need.