As your little one gets older, their smile continuously evolves and changes with them. From the first tooth to the first permanent molar, you have many milestones to look forward to throughout your little one’s childhood. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around about the care of your child’s teeth and gums that can get in the way of a healthy grin. Luckily, we’re here to put those misconceptions to rest. Continue reading as we debunk five common myths about children’s dentistry.
You Don’t Need to Take Care of Baby Teeth
Some people think that since baby teeth fall out anyway, they don’t require dental care. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Primary teeth play a significant role in your child’s development, meaning it’s crucial to take proper care of them. They help kids eat and speak properly while preserving facial structure and acting as placeholders for permanent teeth. If you fail to take care of your baby’s teeth, you put them at risk of experiencing dental problems and complications down the line.
Pacifiers Are Bad for Children’s Teeth
Did you know that babies suck their thumb or fingers in the womb? It’s a natural reflex that starts even before they’re born! With that in mind, it’s completely okay for newborns and infants to use a pacifier. Studies show the self-soothing behavior can decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Either way, most children will stop sucking their thumb or using a pacifier between the ages of two and four. It’s only a concern if the habit continues past the age of four.
Cavities Are Only Caused by Sugar
Sugar is certainly one of the main culprits behind cavities, but it’s not the only one. Starchy foods like chips and crackers can also increase the amount of plaque in your little one’s mouth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Therefore, remind your child to brush and floss regularly to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup.
Kids Don’t Need to Use Fluoride Toothpaste
False! Tooth decay is a risk as soon as the first tooth erupts, which is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children use fluoride toothpaste. It helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Since small children are more likely to swallow it, only use about the size of a grain of rice for kids two and younger. If your child is three years or older (and can spit out when brushing), you can use a pea-sized amount.
Children Shouldn’t Chew Gum
It may surprise you to learn that chewing sugar-free gum can actually be good for your child’s teeth. It helps increase saliva production and keep cavities at bay. Since it has no added sugar, bacteria won’t produce enough acids to cause damage to their teeth.
Now that we’ve debunked some common myths about children’s dentistry, you can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health!
About the Practice
At Capron Park Dental, we provide exceptional, high-quality, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages. Our team uses the latest technologies and techniques to ensure you and your family receive the best treatment possible. To learn more myths about children’s dentistry, visit our website or call (508) 222-5950.