Many different myths exist regarding health care—even myths about pediatric dental care! This article is meant to disprove and debunk some of the more common misconceptions that people have about pediatric dentistry. The following beliefs represent just some of the falsehoods about children’s dental care:
Myth #1: Tooth decay and cavities in baby teeth don’t matter
Cavities and tooth decay in baby teeth can negatively affect the health of the permanent teeth. If the primary teeth are so decayed that they need to be removed, this can affect the spacing in the mouth. After the tooth is removed, the space that is left needs to be maintained—if not, the permanent, or secondary, tooth can grow into the wrong spot, causing crowding and crooked teeth.
Additionally, the habits that contributed to the development of a cavity are often formed and solidified when children are younger. If these habits are to continue into adulthood, the child’s oral health may be at serious risk for gum disease as well as other dental health conditions.
Another issue with cavities in any type of tooth (baby teeth or permanent teeth) is that they will cause pain that can even be severe in some cases. The pain will interfere with eating, drinking and speaking as well. The only surefire way to relieve the pain is by visiting the dentist.
Myth #2: Kids don’t need to see the dentist until their permanent teeth grow in
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children see a pediatric dentist before the age of one. During a child’s dental appointment, the pediatric dentist will clean any teeth that have begun to grow in and evaluate their dental health.
It’s important to remember that different recommendations are made for kids of varying ages and health statuses. In order to maintain good oral hygiene, it is important for parents to be aware of how to help their kids take care of their mouths. The best way for parents and kids to learn is to see a dentist that specializes in pediatric dental health.
Myth #3: Kids don’t need to brush baby teeth
Kids of all ages should be brushing their teeth even if they only have their baby teeth. Cavities can cause damage to the oral health of the child whether they have baby teeth or adult teeth.
Myth #4: Flossing isn’t necessary
Did you know that when you don’t floss, you are missing up to 80% of your tooth’s surfaces during your daily oral hygiene routine?! Flossing is absolutely necessary, because cavities can form in between the teeth too. Plaque and tartar love to hide in between the teeth, wreaking havoc on the gums and putting your child at risk for early gum disease and cavities.
Myth #5: Cavities are inevitable
Cavities are entirely preventable! The ADA recommends seeing the dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and check-up, which will help to prevent tooth decay. Don’t forget that daily oral health care is essential in cavity prevention as well!
Advanced Children’s Dentistry provides both parent and child with the tools to ensure dental health remains a priority. Dr. Sybil is our pediatric dentist who takes pride in being able to make a positive difference in all of her patients’ health care. Schedule a pediatric dental appointment at 516-758-KIDS.
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