Tooth Truths: Myths and Facts about Child Dental Care

group of smiling children

You need facts to make decisions about your child’s care.

As a parent, you have probably received plenty of unsolicited advice about how to care for your children. Often times, this advice can be contradictory and full of myths. This is especially true when it comes to child dental care. That is why we have put together a list of common myths and facts concerning oral health and children. Keep reading to learn the facts and get tips on how to ensure your children are happy and healthy.

Myth 1: You don’t need to worry about baby teeth.

Many parents assume that children don’t need to receive any dental care because their baby teeth are simply going to fall out anyway. However, baby teeth serve several important purposes. First and foremost, baby teeth are an important part of childhood development and allow children to transition to solid foods. If they have dental problems, they may have trouble chewing, which can make mealtime difficult.

Baby teeth also create space so permanent teeth can come in as children age. If there are problems with the baby teeth, they could fall out early and affect whether permanent teeth come in straight. Child dental care can help catch any potential problems early on, so your child’s adult teeth are as healthy as possible.

Teeth also play an important role in developing speech. The tongue is placed on various parts of the teeth in order to create certain sounds. Prematurely missing teeth can affect speech patterns.

Fact: Even babies should receive dental care.

While baby teeth are temporary, they are still extremely important and should be monitored and treated by a dentist. In addition, teaching children the importance of dental hygiene early on will help set them up for success and establish healthy routines.

Myth 2: Young patients are treated the same as adults.

Most adults avoid going to the dentist even though they know it is a necessary part of caring for their health. If they get stressed out about visiting the dentist, they assume that their child will be just as stressed, and they end up avoiding taking their child in for visits, as well. The good news is that pediatric dentist offices are designed to be kid-friendly and cater to young patients, so they have a positive experience.

Fact: Pediatric dentists understand the needs of children.

The staff at a pediatric dentist not only understands the physical needs of children, but they also work to make the experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Early visits are often about providing an oral health checkup and providing educational information. The dentist and their staff will go above and beyond to make sure your child is completely comfortable during their exam. This helps to set them up for a future of good oral health habits.

Myth 3: It is your fault if your child has cavities.

Parenting is a tough job. You want the best for your kids, and it is hard not to feel guilty when things don’t go perfectly. However, there is no reason to beat yourself up if your child ends up with cavities. While diet and hygiene can be contributing factors, genetics and tooth shape also play important roles. Not everything is under your control, so there is no need to blame yourself. The key is to visit the dentist regularly, so cavities can be caught and treated early on.

Fact: Some people are more prone to cavities.

Some people simply have deeper crevices in their teeth and have a more crowded mouth, which creates hard-to-reach pockets where bacteria can collect. In addition, certain children can be more sensitive to the bacteria that causes cavities. These factors cannot be fully controlled, but they can be treated, and your child can enjoy excellent oral health with the help of an experienced pediatric dentist.

Myth 4: Child dental care is expensive.

If you don’t have dental insurance through your employer and pay for dental care out of pocket, the thought of a dental bill can be intimidating. Many people put off taking their child to a pediatric dentist because they assume that it will be a real drain on their bank account. The truth is that child dental care is not only essential but affordable.

Fact: Child dental care is affordable and accessible.

Most children will simply come in for a cleaning and receive some brushing instructions from the dentist. They won’t need extensive work done, so you won’t have to worry about expensive procedures. In addition, most dentists offer payment plans and other financing options to help those who are on a tight budget. Finally, if you have dental insurance, you will pay a minimal fee for your child to receive care. There are plenty of options that will allow your child to get the dental care they need without racking up medical bills.

You may have heard quite a few myths regarding child dental care over the years, but at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska, we can set the record straight and provide you with the information you need to help your child enjoy optimal oral health. We love our young patients and work to make sure that every visit is a positive experience. Contact us today with any questions regarding child dental care, and schedule an appointment for your child.