If the majority of your knowledge about proper dental care comes from casual conversations with your friends, you may be buying into common dental care myths. As a parent, you always want the best for your child. You want him to be happy and healthy, and that includes having healthy teeth and gums. If you believe the following myths about oral care, you may unknowingly be increasing your child’s risk of developing tooth decay or damaging her teeth or gums. The following statements many parents consider to be factual are not!
My child’s baby tooth is going to fall out, they don’t need to see the dentist.
This is a huge misconception amongst parents. Many parents believe that since baby teeth “are going to fall out anyway” it’s not necessary to schedule regular dental visits. That is false! Regular preventative dentistry for children will ensure the baby teeth and the permanent teeth below them remain healthy. Some baby teeth remain in place until kids are well into the double digits. Teeth that have to last for over a decade need to be cared for to prevent the need for fillings, crowns, root canals or extractions.
Kids should always brush their teeth right away after eating or drinking.
Sounds like sound advice, right? It’s not. Ideally, kids should brush their teeth an hour after eating or drinking — especially acidic foods and drinks (oranges, orange juice, soda, pickles, etc.) Acid eats away at the minerals in teeth and softens enamel up to an hour after it makes contact with the teeth. Brushing right away will actually encourage erosion of tooth enamel.
The only criteria in choosing a child’s toothbrush is that the child can grip it effectively.
While it is important that a toothbrush is small enough to fit into a child’s tiny hand, that is definitely not the only thing you want to look for. A child’s toothbrush should have soft bristles that won’t damage a child’s sensitive gums. When you visit your family dentist trained in pediatric dentistry, you’ll probably receive a complimentary toothbrush. Make sure the brushes you buy look similar to that toothbrush.
Kids should rinse their mouth with water after brushing their teeth.
Your pediatric dentist will confirm this is a myth if you are using flouridated toothpaste. Fluoride will continue protecting teeth for up to half an hour if it is left on the teeth. Always buy toothpaste with a minimum of 1,000 parts per million of fluoride.
If you have questions about your child’s dental care, contact us for advice!