The majority of parents want to do what is best for their children’s teeth and overall well being. But many are not well-versed in what this actually entails, so in more developed countries, there has been a rise in incidents of children suffering from dental decay which is 100% preventable.
In this article, common myths about children’s teeth are explored. If you are a parent, you can learn what’s what in keeping your children’s teeth and gums healthy.
Myth 1 – baby teeth aren’t as important as adult teeth
Any Coorparoo family dental team will tell you that this is one of the biggest myths concerning milk teeth. Children’s teeth are actually more important than adult teeth. If a child’s teeth do not need to be removed, then they should stay in the mouth until the child is around 10 or 11 years old. Once the milk teeth naturally fall out, their positions act as markers for where the adult teeth will come through. If the milk teeth are removed too early due to decay, then the adult teeth may come through in odd positions, heightening the chance of misalignment. So, it is well worth preserving those milk teeth for as long as possible with fillings, crowns or fluoride sealants.
Myth 2 – a child needs to see the dentist when they are 2 years or older
As soon as your baby’s first milk tooth erupts, they need to see a dentist, and even if this has not occurred by the age of 12 months, they still need to see their dentist. This must be done to get them used to their dental surgery and, of course, help you keep their newly erupting teeth in good condition.
Myth 3 – sending a child to bed with a milk bottle is not going to cause issues
When your child starts developing their teeth, it is not wise to send them to bed with a bottle full of milk or juice. Aim to send them to bed with just water. Milk contains sugar, which can build up on the teeth and cause cavities in much the same way that squash or juice can.
Myth 4 – my child doesn’t need an electric toothbrush
Every child should be brushing their teeth for three minutes twice a day with an electric toothbrush. This will help to remove more stubborn plaque and help the teeth to be cleaned more thoroughly. Make sure to get an age-appropriate electric toothbrush, as the heads will be smaller and better equipped for managing smaller baby teeth.
Myth 5 – children don’t need to floss
Of course, children need to floss! Getting this skill right during childhood will help them in their adult life too. It can be hard to teach your child how to floss correctly, and this is where the intervention of a dentist specialising in paediatric care can be beneficial, as they can show your child how to floss their teeth without cutting their gums.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.