Early Illusions: 3 Myths About Children’s Dental Health

March 4, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlindasteele @ 4:50 pm
Girl in pink shirt holding purple toothbrush and smiling

As your child’s guardian, you’re responsible for their mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and their teeth are no exception. Unfortunately, there are several commonly held misconceptions about pediatric dentistry that could lead you to make decisions that aren’t based in fact. It’s important to be well-informed so you can take the necessary steps to keep your kid’s mouth healthy as they continue to develop. Keep reading to learn about 3 myths about your little one’s dental well-being and the truth behind them!

Myth #1: You Don’t Need to Brush Baby Teeth

Many parents believe that there’s no need to worry about consistently brushing their kid’s baby teeth because they eventually fall out anyway. Did you know, though, that up to 42% of children between 2 to 11 years old have had a cavity in one of their primary teeth? This can be problematic because tooth decay is contagious and can spread to other teeth, including permanent ones that haven’t erupted yet.

Thankfully, cavities can be avoided with a consistent at-home dental routine. Your whole family should be brushing and flossing their pearly whites at least twice daily as part of a regular regimen. If your child resists, you might encourage them by having them pick out a decorated toothbrush and a fun-flavored toothpaste. Using a product that’s fortified with fluoride can also tooth decay by strengthening their enamel.

Myth #2: Fruit Juice in a Sippy Cup Won’t Hurt Their Teeth

Although it’s perfectly safe to consume in moderate amounts, too much fruit juice can be problematic for your kid because of the sugar content. The unhealthy bacteria in their mouths are attracted to this sweet ingredient and release acids as they thrive that wear down enamel. Not only that but if they’re sipping it slowly for hours on end from a sippy cup, their teeth are being overly exposed and are more likely to develop problems.

To prevent tooth decay, try to moderate how much fruit juice your child consumes. Milk and water are both great alternatives that contribute to their dental health rather than detract from it. The former contains calcium that strengthens their teeth while the latter has a neutral pH value to counteract potential acid damage.

Myth #3: Only Sweets Causes Cavities

Although sugar is particularly harmful when it comes to your child’s smile, it’s not the only danger. High-carb and starchy foods like crackers, cereal, and bread break down into sugar in their mouth which can be just as destructive. Many prepackaged options marketed to youths fall into this category. Instead of giving them cookies or wafers, why not substitute them for a healthier snack like yogurt, fruits, or veggies? Oranges contain vitamin C to support the connective tissue in their gums, and many vegetables contain calcium and other nutrients that protect their pearly whites.

By making a few minor changes to their habits, you can help keep your child’s grin in top condition for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Linda Steele has almost 3 full decades of experience providing a full range of services to children at all stages of dental development. She completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery at Baylor College of Dentistry and then underwent a pediatric residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She uses a gentle and compassionate approach so that you and your little one feel comfortable throughout your appointment. With advanced technology onsite, she can quickly identify any potential problems and provide individualized treatments to meet your kid’s unique needs. If you’d like an appointment, you’re welcome to request one on the website or by calling (972) 640-7432.

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