Baby teeth come and go in a relatively short amount of time. But they are vitally important to the development and eruption of adult teeth, and they should be cared for just as if they were permanent. Doing so gives kids plenty of practice on how to care for their teeth and gums so that, when their adult teeth arrive, they are equipped to give them the kind of care they need. Many people disregard baby teeth since they are fleeting. If you are one of those people, you need to reconsider. Here are 4 common myths about baby teeth, and the truth behind each.
“Baby teeth aren’t that important, they’re just going to fall out anyway”
Nothing could be further from the truth. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, either due to cavities or other dental disease, the adverse effects can be significant. Lost baby teeth affect the way in which the permanent teeth erupt, possibly causing them to come in at poor angles making them difficult to clean. In some cases, the permanent tooth may not erupt at all. Missing baby teeth can also have an effect on the shape of the developing jaw. Finally, the other baby teeth may begin to shift into the empty space, causing problems with eating, oral hygiene, and even speaking.
Teething Can Cause Other Illnesses
Not true. For years, conventional wisdom held that teething often came with fever, diarrhea, and any number of symptoms that could generally make a baby altogether unhappy. The reality is that research shows these other symptoms are negligible during teething stages.
“I don’t need to brush my toddler’s teeth because they never have sweets”
While it’s great to avoid sweets with toddlers, they aren’t the only thing that can cause cavities. Foods high in carbohydrates as well as dairy products can easily cause tooth decay without proper care. You should brush your toddlers teeth twice a day, without exception.
Children should not use fluoride toothpaste
There was previously a belief that fluoride should be avoided at young ages due to the effects it can have on developing teeth and the risk of swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste, which can be harmful. Nowadays, experts generally advise the use of fluoride toothpaste from the start, since it can strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities.
By treating your child’s baby teeth as if they are the only ones they’ll ever have, you will not only keep them healthier, you will prepare them for a lifetime a good oral health. Have questions for your Virginia Beach family dentist? Please call our office today at (757) 417-7300.