We all want what’s best for our kids, especially when it comes to their health. Unfortunately, the conversation about dental hygiene is awash in myths and misinformation, especially when it comes to kids. Here are some things you may have thought about pediatric dental care that just aren’t true.
Myth: Children don’t need dental care, because their baby teeth will just fall out.
Many adults assume that since baby teeth will just fall out, there is no need to enforce brushing or even take a child to the dentist. However, baby teeth still get cavities, which cause the child pain and require extraction or root canal. After having an invasive procedure like this, many children will develop an intense fear of the dentist, starting a lifelong process of poor dental hygiene, causing avoidance and worse tooth issues in the future.
Myth: My child’s first dental appointment should occur when my child is 4 or 5.
Actually, most dentists recommend bringing a child in for his or her first dentist appointment when they are only 1 or 2, as they have most of their teeth at this time and can start developing caries and other issues. This first visit is mainly to advise and educate parents, and check for conditions like bottle rot. Visiting the dentist when there’s “nothing wrong” is also a good way to establish dental visits as a normal part of life, not a scary person they only see when they are in pain.
Myth: There’s no need to teach my child to brush when he or she is so young.
Even if your child is just a baby and their “brushing” consists of waving a toothbrush around in their mouth, it’s still good to normalize brushing as a regular, daily habit. Establishing a routine early is much easier to maintain than they are if you introduce them later in life.
Myth: Juice is a natural part of my child’s diet and is a great way to give them fruit.
Most fruit juices, even brands with a “natural” label, are very high in sugar. Aside from other harmful side effects on the body, sugar can harm the teeth, as the bacteria in your child’s mouth eat it and convert it to enamel-destroying acids. Most pediatric dentists recommend giving children water only between meals.
Protect Your Child’s Teeth with A Charleston Family Dentist
If you need a Charleston family dentist to take care of your child’s teeth, contact Lowcountry Dental Arts. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Stephen Harkey, will provide expert advice and care. To request an appointment, please fill out our online form.