Earlier this month, pediatric dentists across the country celebrated Root Canal Awareness Week. You might be wondering why — after all, root canals aren’t something you typically celebrate!
Root canals have a reputation for being uncomfortable. As a parent, subjecting your child to discomfort isn’t exactly at the top of your to-do list.
But what isn’t shared as often is how essential root canals are to saving teeth. While there may be discomfort during a root canal, they actually help get rid of tooth irritation in the long run.
The myth that root canals are more uncomfortable than they’re worth might not be the only one standing in the way of your child’s dental health. Myths can be harmful in more ways than one, and the myth that baby teeth don’t need care is proof!
Tooth decay has become the most common childhood disease — 5 times more common than asthma!
Here, we’ll uncover 4 of the most common myths about baby teeth and the care they need, and help you feel confident in your child’s dental routines.
Myth 1: Baby Teeth Don’t Need Care Since They’ll Fall Out Anyway
Baby teeth are present at birth, but don’t begin to emerge through your baby’s gums until your child is between the ages of 6 months and one year.
Not only do baby teeth help your child speak, chew, and have an adorable smile, but they also act as placeholders for their permanent teeth.
Healthy baby teeth set your child up to have healthy big kid teeth, too!
Tooth decay caused by poor dental hygiene can cause a tooth to rot and fall out early. And baby teeth that are lost too early can make for crowded teeth in their future, and a lot of avoidable expenses as a result.
Myth 2: Cavities Will Go Away on Their Own as Long as You Brush
While we all wish that this was the case, it’s simply not true. And believing that your child’s cavities will go away with brushing can cause a lot of dental issues.
A cavity is also known as tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by too much plaque, which is the result of a build-up of food and bacteria.
Once tooth decay gets through your child’s tooth enamel, the damage is permanent. Their tooth will then require the help of a professional kids dentist — whether your child has brushed their teeth the recommended 2 times a day or not.
Eventually, untreated cavities in baby teeth can rot through the tooth to the nerve underneath, which can cause a lot of pain. That bacteria can then kill the nerve, resulting in tooth loss and the risk of infections that can lead to other more serious complications.
Myth 3: It’s Normal for Gums to Bleed When Brushing
Most of us have probably seen a little bit of blood when we brush or floss. But that doesn’t mean that it’s normal for your child’s gums to bleed whenever they’re brushing their baby teeth.
Sometimes, a bit of blood when you’re brushing or flossing means you’re brushing too hard. Other times, bleeding gums can be an indicator of underlying health issues, including:
- Gingivitis: Like tooth decay, gingivitis is a gum disease that is the result of too much plaque. When plaque builds up along your child’s gum lines, it results in swollen gums, mouth and gum pain, and bleeding gums.
- Vitamin deficiencies: Bleeding gums can be an indicator that there’s not enough Vitamin K or Vitamin C in your child’s diet.
- Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a severe gum disease caused by poor diet and/or poor dental hygiene that can result in early tooth loss and severe pain for your child.
How to Prevent Bleeding Gums in Children
There are plenty of handy methods to help ensure you keep your child’s gums healthy.
To start, you’ll need to get rid of the “bedtime bottle.” When a child falls asleep with a bottle, the stagnant milk creates a rapid build-up of bacteria and food particles.
You can also prevent bacteria buildup by making sure their pacifiers are clean by washing them before and after each use.
Finally, begin flossing your child’s teeth (gently) once a day as soon as they have 2 teeth that touch.
Myth 4: You Only Need to Visit a Kids Dentist If There’s an Emergency
While your dentist is able to help with dental emergencies, it’s important to try and avoid emergencies in the first place by visiting a kids dentist regularly.
Some dental issues — like a kid’s cavities — can be spotted more quickly by a dentist. If a dentist catches a problem early, it can save you money and worry from your child needing more intensive care, perhaps even a procedure that would involve surgery.
In addition to spotting any issues, kids dentists can help guide you on your child’s hygiene routine and provide deep cleanings to give you a head start!
Children should see a dentist for the first time as soon as their first tooth appears. After that, they only need to visit twice a year.
We’re Still Here For You!
With all the craziness in the world, the last thing you want to worry about are health issues for your child.
On top of that, you want to rest assured that the places you’re going are taking all the precautionary measures to keep you and your child safe.
That’s why we are open for essential and emergency kids dental care, and we’ve worked diligently to ensure every office is clean and safe. Our kids dentists take special care to prevent any possible transmission of germs.
We’re here to do everything we can to ensure your child has a happy, healthy smile.