Alongside providing the best education and nutrition for your kids, general dental care is just as crucial for a growing toddler.
New parents come across so many misconceptions about children’s teeth. Some of these stories can compromise your kids’ dental and overall health.
Read on to learn about some myths that have been debunked by professionals!
Dental X-rays Aren’t Safe
The main concern for parents is the possibility of the short amount of radiation exposure causing cancer and other health issues later in the future.
However, these days, most dental professionals use digital x-rays instead of traditional ones. These use nearly 90% less radiation.
Despite what some may suggest, dental X-rays are a safe, reliable and painless way to diagnose any existing problems in your child’s teeth.
This common misconception misunderstands the power of modern X-ray machines — in fact, an X-ray image can provide a detailed view of the various structures within the mouth so dentists can quickly diagnose cavities, gum disease and other issues.
Your child’s dentist will take every precaution to limit radiation exposure by using the lowest dose possible. As a result, there is almost no risk of harm to your child when undergoing dental X-rays.
Even if your child needs frequent x-raying, proper precautions are taken to maximize your child’s safety.
Flossing Isn’t Necessary
It’s always better to instill good oral hygiene habits in your children from early on so it’s easier to adjust and carry them forward.
Ideally, dentists recommend flossing as soon as your kid’s teeth grow to fit close together. This practice prevents cavities and plaque build-up which is what causes bad breath. If you’re worried about how your child’s breath smells, you can also supplement their diet with probiotics. Smile Brilliant’s dental probiotics for kids have shown remarkable results in improving kids’ oral health.
Flossing plays an important role in preventing cavities in between teeth where toothbrushing can’t reach. Not only does this make the mouths of children healthier, but it also helps to prevent pain and other dental issues due to plaque buildup.
For kids who are already riddled with cavities, regular flossing can help reverse the damage by helping to get rid of bacteria and germs lurking between the teeth.
Without flossing, these areas become prime locations for diseases like gingivitis to set in as well.
PS: Flossing does not create or widen tooth gaps either.
Brushing After Every Meal Is Normal
Theoretically, brushing every time after eating should keep your child’s teeth clean and fresh. But, that’s hardly the case.
Making a habit out of over-brushing your toddler’s teeth can erode their tooth’s enamel. The enamel is the hardest substance in your body but it can deteriorate with frequent brushing. Without that protective layer, your kids’ teeth are more sensitive and prone to decay and cracking.
It is more important to teach young children the importance of proper brushing and flossing habits. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is enough to keep plaque bacteria at bay and prevent cavities in baby teeth.
It does not mean that it hurts to brush after particularly sugary snacks or meals if it suits your schedule better – just make sure to use a small amount of toothpaste so as not to cause over-fluoridation.
Although this doesn’t mean brushing after meals is wrong. Some fruit drinks and soda can stain teeth. You can prevent dental erosion by taking some precautionary steps.
Baby Teeth Don’t Need Care
Milk or primary teeth aren’t any less important because they fall out. Baby teeth help break down food so your baby gets proper nutrition. They also help structure your baby’s face, hold a place for the baby’s permanent teeth and aid in speech development.
Baby teeth are not immune to cavities. That’s why, oral hygiene should never be neglected, even for your infant.
In fact, proper care for baby and children’s teeth is vital for healthy growth of the permanent set of teeth.
Regular checkups with a dentist or pediatrician can ensure that baby teeth remain cavity-free.
Also, instilling good habits such as daily brushing and flossing are essential starting at an early age in order to help prevent the development of cavities in both primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth.
Not paying attention to your baby’s milk teeth can lead to damage causing them to fall sooner than they’re supposed to. This leaves your younger ones prone to dental issues.
Kids Can Brush On Their Own
This is both true and false. Some children can clean their own teeth by the age of 4 but this fact isn’t endorsed.
Cleaning teeth takes a lot of skills that can take a while to master. Kids don’t have the dexterity to manually brush their teeth correctly.
It’s recommended that parents guide their kids and teach them until they garner the ability to write in cursive.
Younger children need a bit more help to ensure they brush for the full two minutes and get all areas of their mouth.
Involving them in the process by letting them pick out their own toothbrush and a favorite toothpaste flavor is an effective way to make it fun and interactive, and will get them excited to brush every day.
Introduce your kids to dental care early and supervise them. Around the age of 6 or 7, you can hold back a little.
Fluoride Is Harmful
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, air, and water. It’s been proven to be safe for consumption. You could even mix fluoride dietary supplements with baby food.
Toothpaste containing fluoride is extremely effective in strengthening the enamel and preventing tooth decay. Fluoride has long-term benefits for oral health.
Fluoride works by applying a small amount of enamel-strengthening minerals directly onto the teeth which prevents cavities. Studies have shown that even when taken in excess, fluoride has no negative effect on health and safety.
The most important factor is to ensure that your child receives the right amount of fluoride to prevent tooth decay while avoiding too much exposure. This is why it’s essential to speak with your pediatrician or dentist about the best method for your child’s oral hygiene care.
Overconsumption of fluoride can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis. This doesn’t have any adverse effect on your oral health. Its effect is limited to altering the color of the enamel, which is fixable.
Teething Causes Fevers
Teething does not cause any illness. It might be an uncomfortable process for your baby, but it doesn’t directly cause a fever or give your baby diarrhea, rashes, or any other medical issue.
Studies have found that unless a fever coincides with other symptoms such as increased irritability or swollen, inflamed gums, it is likely not related to teething at all but rather to another underlying condition.
Parents should not worry unnecessarily if their teething infant or toddler experiences a fever – speaking to a trusted health care professional can help provide further clarity.
Apart from mild irritability and drooling, teething does not harm your baby.
Take a step at a time to unlearn these popular teeth myths. For parents, the sooner the better it is to intervene with your baby and your kid’s dental needs.
Rather than waiting till your kid experiences discomfort, see a pediatric dentist as soon as those little, pearly whites start growing!