Parenthood doesn’t come with a manual, but certain ways and beliefs about parenting—both good and bad—can be passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, many parents still fall prey to common myths, particularly about children’s dental health, which can lead to unpleasant outcomes for their child’s oral development. Here are just three of the myths that many parents believe when it comes to their child’s smile.
Myth #1: Baby Teeth Can’t Get Cavities
As small as they are, baby teeth are not immune to decay. They have the same layers permanent teeth have, except the enamel is very thin, which means if your child’s baby tooth gets even a minor cavity, it can be extremely painful.
From the moment that first baby tooth erupts from the gum tissue, around six months, until the last baby tooth comes out, your child’s mouth is exposed to decay-causing oral bacteria.
Myth #2: Children Don’t Need Daily Dental Care Until They’re Older
Because baby teeth are just as susceptible to infection as adult teeth, or even more so, it’s important to start taking care of them from an early age. In fact, you should start brushing your little one’s teeth as soon as they come in.
At first, you must do the brushing for them. When they gain more dexterity and coordination, you may give them time to try doing it themselves, followed by a more thorough brushing from you until they develop better skills. Starting this habit early not only keeps their growing smile healthy and strong, but it also teaches your child the importance of dental care for a lifetime.
Myth #3: My Child Doesn’t Need to See a Dentist Until They’re Older
Like at-home dental care, many parents believe that their child’s first dental visit doesn’t need to happen until the child is at least school age. However, waiting this long to meet the dentist usually results in a more stressful situation for everyone.
Some families choose to delay the first visit to the family dentist until age three, but the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends starting regular dental visits when your child has reached their first birthday. Regardless of when you start, your dentist will likely only count their teeth and quickly examine them for cavities.
Although there are many myths about dental health for kids, you don’t have to believe them. When you work with a family dentist early on in your child’s life, you can get correct information and make sure your little one’s smile is properly cared for from the beginning.
About the Practice
Both Dr. Kim Turnbow and Dr. Jamie Knox have a passion for helping patients of all ages achieve healthy smiles. They are both parents and love working with children. In fact, Dr. Turnbow has visited schools in the past to help educate children on their dental health. If you have questions about caring for your child’s smile, or if they need a checkup appointment, you may contact our New Braunfels office online or call us at 830-626-1111.