Many parents call or come in to our office with questions regarding the dental health of their children. Some of the information they have gathered, from doctors or other parents, startles Dr. Kimmy. While tons of books and websites exist that cover caring for the health of your baby, parents may find it hard to find the correct information about caring for their child’s dental health.
In this blog, Dr. Kimmy dispels four common myths about children’s dental health, and replaces them with the facts parents need to know. To learn more about how to properly care for your child’s dental health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy, call our Manhasset, NY, pediatric dental office today at (516) 365-4-KID.
Myth #1 – My Child Doesn’t Need to Visit the Dentist Until He’s Three Years Old
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents bring their children in for their first dental visit when the first tooth erupts, no later than the child’s first birthday. While this may seem early to start thinking about dental care, recent studies have shown that 25% of children in the United States receive their first cavities before the age of four. Dr. Kimmy will show you how to properly care for your child’s teeth and prevent these early cavities from developing.
Myth #2 – Small Children Don’t Need to Brush and Floss
Many feel that their children don’t need to worry about brushing and flossing, because they will just lose their baby teeth eventually anyway. This could not be further from the truth. Your child’s baby teeth hold space for the adult teeth that will erupt as they get older. Neglecting the baby teeth can cause cavities and other damage, and may possibly result in losing teeth prematurely. This can cause those adult teeth to grow in crooked, necessitating orthodontic treatment in the future.
Parents should begin caring for their children’s teeth even during infancy. Using a moist cloth or a piece of gauze, the parent can wipe the child’s gums to remove bacteria that can cause cavities. As the child grows older and his teeth erupt, the parents can use a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, and brush the child’s teeth for them.
Baby teeth often have spaces between them, which helps save room for the adult teeth behind them. Should any teeth touch, however, the parent will need to help the child floss in between them. Any teeth that touch run the risk for cavities developing between them.
Myth #3 – My Child Can Brush His Own Teeth
Your child may appear to have his brushing under control, but most children cannot properly reach some of the hard to reach areas in the mouth. Experts suggest that until a child can tie his own shoes and write in cursive, typically around the age of six, he lacks the dexterity required to reach these areas. Even then, parents should continue monitoring their child’s brushing to ensure he does a complete job.
Myth #4 – I Should Wait Until My Child Loses His Baby Teeth Before Visiting an Orthodontist
The ADA recommends that you take your child to the orthodontist by the age of seven. This allows the doctor to evaluate the child’s dental health and detect any orthodontic problems early. Early detection of orthodontic problems can save children from needing extractions or even jaw surgery. Based on the growth and placement of your child’s baby teeth, the orthodontist can usually tell by this age if your child will need orthodontic treatment when he gets older.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about how to properly care for your little one’s teeth, contact our Manhasset, NY, dental office today at (516) 365-4-KID and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy.Leave a reply →