If you’re a parent, the health and well-being of your child is likely a top priority. But while you might readily schedule check-ups with your family physician, you might be wondering whether it’s really necessary to make regular visits to a dentist for kids. And even if you know that childrens pediatric dentists serve an essential purpose, you may believe certain misconceptions about oral health for kids.
In today’s post, we’re clearing up just some of those misconceptions in an effort to show how important consistent and early dental treatment can be. Ask any dentist for children and they’ll be able to clear up the following misunderstandings.
MYTH: Since baby teeth fall out anyway, caring for them isn’t that important.
You might believe that because your child will eventually lose their primary teeth, caring for those teeth must not be as important as caring for adult teeth. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
For one thing, if your child gets a cavity in one of their baby teeth, it could actually impact the adult teeth growing underneath. An infection in one of those primary teeth can cause pain and swelling in their adult teeth and cause problems later on. Having healthy primary teeth is also essential for learning how to talk and chew properly, so excellent oral care is essential. It’s also important for parents to know that primary teeth hold space for adult teeth; they help a child’s jaw to develop properly and keep adult teeth in alignment.
The short version is that the healthier a child’s primary teeth are, the more likely their adult teeth will be healthy, too. That’s why the AAPD recommends that kids see a childrens pediatric dentist every six months for exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and X-rays to keep problems at bay.
MYTH: Once children know how to brush their teeth, they don’t need their parents’ help.
Your child may be old enough to hold a toothbrush and go through the motions of brushing their teeth, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them to their own devices. Your child really isn’t capable of handling proper brushing on their own until they’re around eight years old — and even then, there will be essential aspects of the brushing process that they’ll miss.
You should continue monitoring your child’s brushing habits and helping them if there are areas they can’t reach. Fortunately, childrens pediatric dentists can also assess areas that need improvement and can provide parents with tips to improve their child’s oral healthcare at home.
MYTH: As long as they don’t eat a lot of candy, my child won’t get cavities.
Even if your child doesn’t particularly enjoy snacking on candy, that doesn’t mean their teeth are safe from developing dental caries. Sugar can be found in juices and other beverages, as well as all kinds of foods they might eat as part of a healthy diet.
Cavities don’t necessarily mean that a child’s nutrition is lacking; it means that the bacterial acids that cause decay aren’t being removed properly. Regardless of whether your child has a sweet tooth, kids still need to brush and floss after every meal to remove plaque and prevent cavities.
Now that you know the truth behind these common misconceptions, you’ll understand the important role that childrens pediatric dentists play in your family’s health. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact our offices today.