myths about kids oral health

myths about kids oral healthMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

If you are a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child is cared for, and that his or her smile is protected. However, depending on your age, the oral hygiene facts pertaining to children that you learned years ago may not be updated compared to what the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has to say about it today. Dr. Ben Sentell, a family dentist in Maryville, wants to dispel some myths about kid’s oral health.

MYTH #1: Children only need to go to the dentist unless there is a problem

While children certainly should visit the dentist any time an oral health problem or dental pain occurs, they actually should go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings as well. In fact, children should visit the dentist by the time their first tooth erupts, or by one year of age. These visits, occurring once every six months, should continue throughout their entire life.

MYTH #2: Baby teeth aren’t important since they will fall out eventually

This couldn’t be further from the truth! Baby teeth, although will be replaced eventually, are still important for your child’s oral health and development. Losing a primary (baby) tooth too soon could be problematic for your child’s oral health, and should be addressed by the dentist. Safeguard your child’s primary teeth by encouraging good oral hygiene habits, and follow through with routine dental visits.

MYTH #3: Brushing their teeth at home is enough to protect their oral health

We do encourage good oral hygiene habits at home. However, children still need to see the dentist routinely. Not only do these visits involve a thorough dental cleaning that removes tartar, the building block of tooth decay, but we also can look for other problems that could affect your child. How your child’s teeth develop and align, and even airway development to ensure your child isn’t dealing with a sleep-breathing disorder are reasons to maintain those dental visits.

MYTH #4: Kids can’t get gum disease

This is a common thought but definitely not true. Kids can get gum disease! It starts off as gingivitis, which presents red, inflamed gums that bleed easily. It is most often caused by poor oral hygiene – by not brushing and flossing as recommended. If ignored, gingivitis will develop into advanced stages of the disease known as periodontitis, which is responsible for bad breath, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Just a little extra tidbit of information for you, gum disease is contagious, which means if you have it, avoid kissing your child on the mouth or sharing eating utensils!

As you can see, it is important to safeguard your child’s oral health, and that they visit the dentist routinely for dental checkups and cleanings. At Cedar Street Family Dentistry, we are well equipped and experienced in treating children of all ages at our office. In fact, we also provide services suitable for the entire family. To learn more about what we offer or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office by calling (865) 233-7640. We welcome patients of Alcoa, Knoxville, and Maryville, Tennessee.