A child’s first teeth, or baby teeth, are extremely important for several areas of oral health and development. This is why it’s unfortunate, then, that a number of myths have arisen over the years regarding these baby teeth and their care, many of which revolve around misunderstandings about the purpose of these teeth.
At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, we’re happy to offer a wide range of children’s dentist services, from basic cleaning and dental X-rays to numerous areas of expertise and assistance for parents with their child’s oral care. What are some of the most common myths we hear when it comes to baby teeth? Let’s go over these and set them straight so you have the proper information moving forward.
Baby Teeth Don’t Matter
The primary myth surrounding baby teeth, and one that then trickles down into other areas of misinformation, is that baby teeth don’t matter. The reason many have come to believe this is that baby teeth will eventually fall out – some think this means they’re just place-holders, and while this is true in a sense, they still play an extremely important role here.
Specifically, baby teeth maintain mouth structure and also offer a guide for permanent teeth to eventually move in. Baby teeth lost too early, for instance, will often lead to crowding of adult teeth once they grow in, which in turn could lead to a need for braces or other corrective measures.
Brushing Isn’t Too Important
For similar reasons as the above myth, some parents don’t really think they need to brush or pay attention to child teeth much. This isn’t the case at all – these teeth should begin being brushed as soon as they appear in the mouth.
This will prevent early risks of tooth decay, for one, and will also form good dental habits. In fact, even before your baby’s teeth begin growing, you can start out their oral care by rubbing a soft, damp rag over their gums to reduce bacteria.
Cavities Aren’t a Risk
Again, the thought here is that if the teeth will fall out eventually, why are cavities a problem? But this is shortsighted thinking, and cavities lead to not only pain in your child’s mouth, but also bacteria that spreads through not only the mouth, but also the bloodstream and the rest of the body.
Why See a Dentist?
And finally, once again likely due to the fact that baby teeth will fall out and be replaced eventually, some parents don’t believe they need to see dentist regularly before this happens. But this is simply untrue, as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first visit come as their first tooth emerges, or no later than age one.
For more correct information on baby teeth and how to care for them, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.