Children’s Dental Care Facts and Myths

Children's Dental Care: Before the Candy, Tooth Trivia | Baby Chick

Children’s Dental Care Facts and Myths

Did you know your teeth can say a lot about your overall health? The same is true regarding our children’s dental care and health. Most of us should plan to see a dentist twice a year — every six months — unless we are experiencing more serious dental issues, of course. As parents, we should start taking our little ones to the dentist as soon as they begin developing teeth. This allows the doctor to check for any developmental issues, and also helps our tots warm up to the idea of seeing a dentist more regularly. There are so many myths about baby teeth out there, though. So we though we’d take a long, hard look at some of the most prevalent myths regarding kids’ teeth and oral care.

Kids’ Teeth Myths and Facts

Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay.

False! While sugar can lead to cavity formation, it’s not the real culprit when it comes to tooth decay. The big, bad villain is actually acid from bacteria. This bacteria eats away at our enamel. True, the bacteria love refined sugars (like the ones found in candy and sugary drinks) — but they also love simple carbohydrates like fruits, veggies, and grains. So brush your kids’ teeth, and brush them well! And don’t forget to floss.

Baby teeth aren’t important. They’re just going to fall out anyway!

Not true! Before the tooth fairy sees all 20 of your little one’s baby teeth, they serve many important functions. Baby teeth are natural space maintainers for permanent teeth. If my daughter, Savannah, loses a baby tooth too early, this could cause crowding of her permanent teeth. The health of her temporary baby teeth can have long lasting effects — tooth decay left unchecked can cause pain, abscess, and swelling. An infection can even spread to other parts of her body. Yikes!

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Whitening toothpaste and similar products are unsafe for teens to use.

Maybe not. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using a conservative approach to tooth whitening in children under 15. Over the age of 15, if the child has all of his permanent teeth, whitening should be done under the supervision of a doctor. Overuse of these products can cause the enamel to become fragile or porous. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common side effects. If this occurs, discontinue use immediately.

Wisdom teeth serve no purpose.

Not necessarily. Wisdom teeth are a product of evolution. It is believed that our ancestors ate course food that caused the jaw to grow larger and stronger, allowing for more teeth in our mouths. Over time, our mouths began to shrink to make room for our growing brains, leaving many folks with overcrowded mouths and painful impactions when the little buggers decided to break through. Most people will have them removed to make room for other teeth, but if they aren’t causing you problems, it’s probably best to leave them alone.

Knocked-out teeth are gone forever.

Good news! It’s possible to re-implant a knocked-out, adult tooth. (Once those baby teeth are gone, and the more permanent teeth have appeared on the scene.) The key to success is how the missing tooth is stored, and for how long. Dentists recommend rinsing the tooth gently with a saline solution, handling it carefully by the crown. If possible, they say place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container of saline or milk. (Yes, milk.) Put pressure on the gums to reduce bleeding and pain en route to the dentist. You can expect a full recovery in about two months. Good to know, right? Especially if your little goblins are particularly rambunctious!

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You should brush immediately after every meal.

False! Believe it or not, this isn’t necessary. The acidic environment in your mouth temporarily softens the enamel on teeth while it breaks down food particles and washes them away. Brush too soon and you’ll end up scrubbing away tooth enamel in the process. Try waiting 30 to 60 minutes before grabbing that toothbrush — and make sure you get in at least two good brushings a day.

Infographic provided by Arctic Dental

Don’t forget about your own teeth — especially after that midnight trip to the pantry to rifle through your secret stash of chocolate. Or maybe that’s just me?

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About the Author /

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony.

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Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17882796163445028 Happy Halloween! 🎃 Hope there is minimal (to no) whining and you don't have to break out your inner Mary Poppins to still create a magical evening with the family. ⁠
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Instagram post 18110876884020847 Of course you love being a mom. You love your kids. You love your family. And you would NEVER change any of it. But it's okay to acknowledge that motherhood is hard and that there are parts of it that we don't always love. This does not make us bad moms. We have limits, we get tired and we're human.⁠
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I think sharing only the beautiful sides of motherhood to women who don't have children does them a disservice. It's important to have an understanding of what the reality is like so if they decide to have a baby welcoming their little one and becoming a mom is not as jarring or eye-opening. It doesn't mean that we should fear-monger. It's just being honest about all sides of motherhood--the crazy, exhausting, beautiful and best thing ever. ❤️⁠
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