Parents and caregivers have a lot to worry about as their children grow up. After all, things change and develop very quickly as infants turn into toddlers and toddlers turn into preschoolers. Dental care is another one of those things that are constantly changing and needs attention just like everything else. In fact, baby teeth are one of the most important parts of child development – yet there are many myths surrounding baby teeth that your pediatric dentist in Long Island would like to set straight.
1. Baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway.
Perhaps the biggest myth about baby teeth is that they don’t matter that much since they’re just going to fall out anyway. Nothing could be further from the truth. Baby teeth serve several important purposes during a child’s growth and development. Teeth help children chew which can help them eat a well-balanced diet as they grow. Baby teeth also help speech development and make it easier for your child to pronounce words. Lastly, baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. When a baby tooth is lost too soon, teeth can shift and cause problems in adult tooth eruption. This is why it’s so important to visit your pediatric dentist in Long Island at least twice a year.
2. Kids don’t need to see the dentist until they have all of their teeth.
Speaking of kids’ dental visits, some myths say that children don’t need to see the dentist until they have all of their baby teeth. However, most pediatric dentists will recommend that children experience their first dental visit by their first birthday. Since we’re all born with both our baby teeth and adult teeth waiting to erupt in our jaws, a pediatric dentist can monitor baby tooth development and eruption to catch any potential problems early. These early appointments also help get your child used to the dental chair and having their teeth examined.
3. Flossing is optional for children.
We now know just how important baby teeth are, and that means they need to be cared for properly at all stages of development. This includes flossing. As soon as your child has two or more teeth that touch each other, it’s important to start gently flossing. Flossing removes food and bacteria from in between the teeth and where the toothbrush can’t reach.
4. Kids can brush their own teeth.
Watching kids brush their teeth is adorable, but there’s a good chance that they aren’t cleaning their teeth thoroughly. The truth is, kids don’t have the fine motor skills to properly brush their teeth and will need a parent’s help up until around age 7 or 8. Talk with your pediatric dentist in Long Island about proper brushing habits and helpful tools to make sure your child is getting the best clean.
If it’s time for your little one to experience their first dental visit, we welcome you to call our pediatric dental office to schedule an appointment with us today. We love seeing new faces!