When it comes to baby teeth and dental care, moms and dads often receive a ton of conflicting advice. Things like when to take your child to the dentist for the first time, or the reasons why baby teeth are important, or the benefits of tap water versus bottled water, make it easy to see why so many myths exist on the subject.
We appreciate how much parents care about their kids’ dental health, so we’ve compiled a list of the top five myths we hear the most about young children’s teeth:
I put my baby to bed with a bottle. What’s the big deal? He doesn’t even have teeth yet.
Although you may not be able to see any baby teeth in your child’s mouth, they’re there -- and they are just as susceptible
to tooth decay as adult teeth. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries, or baby bottle tooth decay. Letting your child fall asleep
with a bottle full of anything other than water is like soaking those developing teeth in sugar – not a good thing for anyone’s teeth,
especially your baby’s.
Baby teeth aren’t important. After all, they’re just going to fall out anyway!
After all of the discomfort children go through to sprout those 20 baby teeth, having them eventually fall out seems almost cruel.
Yet, baby teeth have many important functions in your child’s development. Baby teeth are natural placeholders for their adult teeth,
and the health of your child’s baby teeth can affect the health of their permanent teeth. If dental decay is left on a baby tooth, it not only
could affect the adult tooth growing underneath it, but the infection also could spread to other parts of the child’s body.
As soon as baby teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily with a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of fluoridated
toothpaste for a child under 2 years of age; for 2-5 year olds, use a pea-sized amount.
I don’t need to take my child to the dentist until he starts school.
“First visit by first birthday.” According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,
your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, typically between 6-12 months of age.
My child can brush her own teeth.
Young children often don’t get at the “hard to reach” places in their little mouths.
The better thing to do is to allow them to brush their teeth on their own first, and then have a parent do
a “follow-up brushing” immediately after.
Bottled water is just as good for teeth as tap water.
Tap water contains fluoride - an important ingredient proven to strengthen tooth enamel. On the other hand, most brands of bottled water do not contain fluoride, meaning that your child is missing out on an important vitamin for their teeth.
At Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to provide the best dental care for your children and to guide you as you make dental care decisions through every phase of your child’s life. For more information call (704) 377-3687.
Start early! Stay healthy!