Myths concerning kids’ teeth are especially common. Many of these myths come from well-intended people, but they won’t help your children’s dental health. Here are some common myths about kids’ teeth and what you should know instead.
Myth 1: Fruit juice is safe for my child’s teeth
Fruit juice contains many nutrients. Unfortunately, it also has a high sugar content that causes cavities. Even if you water it down first, you will still introduce tooth-decaying sugar to your child’s teeth.
Upon hearing this, many parents assume milk is a reasonable alternative. Unfortunately, you have to watch milk intake, too. Never give milk to children right before bed unless they can brush before going to sleep.
If your child likes to sip liquids all day, choose water. Milk, juice, or sodas should only be consumed with food. Choose healthy snacks, like cheese, nuts, or raw vegetables. Dry fruit and crackers are often high in sugar.
Myth 2: They’re just baby teeth–they’ll fall out anyway
Many parents delay dental care until their children lose their baby teeth and grow their permanent teeth. However, baby teeth are essential for establishing healthy adult teeth.
Cavities in baby teeth may cause infections that hinder future tooth growth. The remaining baby teeth must stay intact, so the permanent molars don’t move forward and block new teeth from erupting. Many orthodontic issues develop from issues with baby teeth.
Finally, establish good dental hygiene habits early. Begin a daily routine of brushing and flossing, and help your kids care for their teeth—including their baby teeth. Furthermore, establishing a healthy dental routine early on, will help your children maintain the routine even as they age into adulthood.
Myth 3: My kids don’t need any help with brushing
It’ best to help your kids brush their teeth until they can tie their own shoelaces. Thorough brushing requires motor skills, and young children may not always clean their back teeth well. Monitor your child’s tooth-brushing routine, and be sure they clean the back teeth as well as the front.
Myth 4: My child must only brush every morning.
The same rule that applies to adults also applies to children: Brush at night to keep your teeth, and brush in the morning to keep your friends. Night brushing is most important because it removes food particles that build up all day. Letting those linger on teeth overnight increases the risk of tooth decay.
You may be surprised to learn morning brushing is a social issue. Skipping the morning brushing is not a good practice, since no one wants bad breath, however there are fewer dental health risks when skipping the morning brushing versus skipping night brushing. Nevertheless, we always encourage young and old alike to brush at least twice a day.!
Myth 5: My children must avoid chewing gum.
Kids can chew gum, as long as you choose sugar-free varieties for them. In fact, chewing gum can help clean teeth after eating. It stimulates saliva production, balances mouth pH, and sends food bits away.
Start good habits today
Call Fioritto Family Dental today to schedule your child’s next dental appointment!