With over 120 practices, Kool Smiles strives to provide quality dental care to children throughout the U.S. But when it comes to the dental care of children, there are a number of misconceptions. In this article, Kool Smiles puts children’s dental care under investigation to dispel many of the myths surrounding the topic.
Investigating Dental Myths
Below are some of the most common misconceptions parents have about their children’s teeth, and the results of Kool Smiles’ investigation.
Myth #1: There’s no need to brush or floss baby teeth because they will just fall out anyway.
Kool Smiles investigation: Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth, it is still important to take proper care of baby (or “primary”) teeth. Any health issues with baby teeth can interfere with the correct spacing and alignment of the adult teeth that follow. The decay from a primary tooth can be passed onto the permanent tooth that follows and the bacteria can even spread to the rest of the body and cause additional health issues.
Myth #2: Kids don’t need to see a dentist until all of their adult teeth are in.
Kool Smiles investigation: Just as brushing and flossing is critical for baby teeth, so are visits to the dentist. Parents should take their child to the dentist once their first tooth comes in, which is generally around their first birthday.
Myth #3: Bottles, pacifiers and thumb sucking have no effect on a child’s teeth.
Kool Smiles investigation: All three of these things are natural ways for children to soothe themselves or fall asleep. But all three can also interrupt the proper growth and alignment of teeth. Children should be weaned off these activities once their permanent teeth come through.
Myth #4: Kids can brush their own teeth once they’re old enough to eat on their own.
Kool Smiles investigation: Children generally don’t develop the dexterity needed to brush their teeth efficiently until around the age of six or seven. While it may look like they are brushing their teeth just fine, in reality they are leaving a lot of cavity-causing plaque on their teeth. There are plenty of great tips for how parents can teach their children how to brush.
Myth #5: Juice is the healthiest thing for my child to drink.
Kool Smiles investigation: While certain juices can have some health benefits, almost all of them will contain some type of sugar that will contribute to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than six ounces of juice per day for children under the age of six and also recommends it be consumed during a meal. Children who carry around sippy cups filled with juice are exposing their teeth to sugar for prolonged periods throughout the day.
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles establishes quality and affordable dental care in communities that are otherwise underserved. In addition to dental treatment itself, Kool Smiles also invests heavily in educating children, parents and teachers about healthy oral hygiene practices. Visit Kool Smiles’ blog to learn more about these efforts.
American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/How-to-Prevent-Tooth-Decay-in-Your-Baby.aspx