There are many myths and misconceptions about baby teeth. A child’s first teeth, called primary teeth, are temporary teeth that will eventually fall out before the child is six years old. These teeth usually end up under a pillow for the tooth fairy! But that doesn’t mean they are not critical. Below are 4 myths about baby teeth that every parent should know.
Myth #1 Baby Teeth Are Not Important
A common misconception about baby teeth is that they are not as important as permanent teeth because they are going to “fall out anyway.” Baby teeth are crucial. During the early years of development, they serve as place-holders in growing mouths. They help maintain the appropriate structure of the mouth. They provide a guide for the permanent teeth to move into once the time comes.
Myth #2 Cavities in Baby Teeth Do Not Matter
You might have heard that babies can’t get cavities at all, or if they have them, it’s no big deal. This is not true! Cavities can cause pain, discomfort, swelling, and infection. Also, kids who have cavities in their baby teeth are three times as likely to have tooth decay in their adult teeth.
Myth #3 You Don’t Need to Brush Baby Teeth
As soon as the first teeth come in, a child’s teeth need to be brushed twice daily. Not only will this help prevent tooth decay, but it will also start the child on a lifetime of good dental habits. It’s even a good idea to start oral care before baby teeth come in. Just use a soft wet cloth to clean the gums to help reduce bacteria.
Myth #4 Kids Don’t Need to See a Dentist Until They are Older
There is a common fallacy that children do not need to see a dentist until they are three years old. Actually, according to the American Dental Association, an infant should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. Early checkups can help detect decay and other issues. Bringing a child into the dentist early will help them feel comfortable for future appointments.
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