As dental care providers, we have heard many strange things from parents and patients concerning dental habits. Here are five of the most common myths concerning child dental care.
- Genetics are the cause of “bad” teeth. This is grossly incorrect. Hair and eye color are things determined by genetics. The sturdiness of your teeth and its ability to fend off cavities is something completely controlled by how well you take care of your teeth. Having “Soft” teeth is also a false statement. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body. Harder than just regular bone. The issue is that when enamel breaks or gets damaged, it doesn’t heal. So, keep your mouth clean and keep your enamel.
- Water is still fine even with sugar-free flavoring. This isn’t necessarily a complete myth, but it should be important to note that fluoride is an important component in tap water. It should also be noted that buying fruit flavoring for water is fine every once in a while, but should definitely not be used frequently. “Sugar-free” doesn’t mean it won’t harm your child’s teeth. It can still be full of chemicals that will do an equal amount of damage if ingested often enough.
- Fruit is always a good snack choice. Fruit is very healthy for us. But fruit also contains a natural sugar called fructose which, if ingested frequently enough, can be the same as eating candy. Sugar is sugar and, no matter the source, everything should be done in moderation. Eat fruit to stay healthy, but don’t feed your kids fruit or pour them a glass of apple juice at every meal. Even dried fruit can be bad and has been shown to be even worse than chocolate!
- Feed them whatever they want when they’re kids, because those teeth will just fall out eventually.This statement is absolutely wrong. Most children don’t lose their “baby” teeth till the age of twelve. And these teeth play an important part in shaping your child’s smile. If the teeth fall out too early, then there will be some spacing issues with the new teeth and this can lead to possibly braces.
- Snacks are ok, just as long as they are healthy. As parents, we get it and we understand. Children can be picky eaters, and you don’t want to starve them when they say they’re hungry. Nonetheless, feeding them all the time can be an issue when it comes to their dental care. No matter if it is healthy or not, the persistent ingestion of food will leave sugars and acids on their teeth. If they must eat all the time, then maybe brush their teeth a couple more times a day to help, but in general just try to limit their snack time to twice a day.
We hope this helps dispel some thoughts you might have had towards proper dental care for children. Let us know what you think either on Facebook or Instagram! And if you have more questions, be sure to call us at (209) 537-5783 or contact us via email!