February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, making it the perfect time to debunk five common myths about pediatric oral care. Let’s get started!
What You Need to Know About Children’s Dental Health
1. It’s not important to take care of baby teeth. To start, baby teeth allow infants to transition from a liquid-only diet to solid foods. Baby teeth also act as placeholders for future permanent teeth. Early loss of baby teeth may lead to discomfort and difficulty when chewing as well as overcrowding and crooked teeth.
For proper care, help your child brush and floss their teeth every morning and night. Brushing only removes 30 percent of plaque and bacteria, so flossing is a must. Children lack the dexterity to properly floss, so it’s especially important that an adult assists in this endeavor.
2. Cavities in baby teeth don’t affect adult teeth. If left untreated, cavities in baby teeth can lead to improper growth of adult teeth. Tooth decay affects the gums and roots of the teeth, which means harmful bacteria may transfer to adult teeth. To further protect the teeth, we recommend dental sealants at six-years-old. With proper brushing, flossing, and nutrition, sealants reduce the risk of cavities by 80 percent.
3. Sugar is only harmful for teeth in large quantities. It’s actually the frequency of sugar intake rather than the amount that most impacts oral health. The longer the sugar stays on the surface of the teeth, the more significant impact. The bacteria in the mouth converts the sugar into acids that erode the enamel of the teeth. Sugar also leads to plaque and tartar formation, which can increase the risk of gum disease.
4. A little blood during brushing is normal. Even a small amount of blood during brushing can be an indication of gum disease. Luckily, with proper professional care and a consistent dental routine, gum disease in children can be reversed.
Pediatric Dentistry at Maitland Ave Smile Co.
5. Children don’t need to visit the dentist until all of their teeth come in. Not the case! We recommend an initial visit to the dentist after a baby’s first tooth erupts. This early examination ensures that parents know the guidelines for basic oral care (including how to handle common habits like thumb sucking and pacifier use) and also allows a dentist to develop a long-term dental plan for your child. Plus, the earlier a child is exposed to the dentist, the more relaxed and comfortable they will be during their biannual appointments.
Maitland Ave Smile Co. in Altamonte Springs, Florida, is a family dental practice offering a range of services, including pediatric dentistry. We have experience with patients of all ages and work with children to establish a healthy dental routine to ensure the long-lasting health of their future smiles.
Reach out to Maitland Ave Smile Co. today to learn more about dental implants, a comfortable, long-lasting, and natural-looking tooth replacement option.
Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, wisdom teeth, and teeth whitening.