Halloween is around the corner, so we’d like to focus on children’s oral health in this blog post. Most parents often take advice on the proper guidance of raising their children from the older, more experienced members of their family. Certainly, you stand to learn a number of useful tips by listening to your parents or grandparents, which can actually help you deal with the incessantly demanding babies and toddlers.
However, let’s not forget that the field of medicine, including dentistry, has come a long way since their time. Therefore, effective medical counseling is best left to professional practitioners. Let’s find out more about the frequent misconceptions dentists hear from parents of young children on a daily basis, shall we?
1. The mother’s dental condition is not transmitted through heredity
Relatively recent studies have revealed a direct correlation between a child’s dental health and the one of his/her parents. Current research in this direction suggests that the correlation between the dental health of the mother and of the child is more prevalent. In addition, oral conditions that develop prenatally (gingivitis, gum disease, cavities, etc.) have a realistic chance of being transmitted to the newborn. Therefore, it is highly recommended to engage in effective oral hygiene practices during pregnancy.
2. Unborn babies ‘pilfer’ their mothers’ calcium reserves while in the womb
This misconception probably stems from the high incidence of cavities, gingivitis and tooth decay among pregnant women. However, the real reasons for these dental issues consist of hormonal imbalances and the associated modified dietary preferences during pregnancy. In addition, it’s speculated that heartburns and the unavoidable morning sickness episodes may play a role in tooth decay. Practicing effective oral hygiene, however insignificant it may seem in the context of pregnancy at first, ensures that you will maintain a healthy denture, and pass it to your child.
3. Baby teeth aren’t a cause for concern, they’ll fall out naturally
We cannot stress enough how important baby teeth are, because they essentially ‘set the stage’ for healthy adult teeth to develop. Furthermore, a child learns how to talk and eat properly during the period when baby teeth populate his mouth; any dental condition developed within this period may result in speech impediments, improper jaw/adult teeth alignment, and many other associated issues. It’s also important to note that healthy baby teeth promote a balanced diet, absence in which a number of illnesses stand to occur.
4. Losing baby teeth occurs swiftly within a short time frame of 1 year
False, under no circumstances does a child lose all his baby teeth at that rate. In reality, it takes up to five or six years for the baby denture to gradually be replaced by the adult denture, and the two processes are actually intertwined during this interval.
5. Children should be allowed to brush without help
Parents often view their kids’ request to brush by themselves as a sign of asserting independence, which they think should be encouraged. The problem is that young children do not have the knowhow or the motor skills to do this task effectively. Learning improper techniques at an early age will perpetuate their practice in adulthood, leading to a plethora of dental issues. Most dentists would agree that when your son or daughter is apt to tie the shoelaces without external assistance, they are probably ready to learn how to brush their teeth on their own.
Since now that you know the facts from the fiction, and Halloween is coming up (Parental warning: treats, treats and more treats), make sure that you apply what you have learned to help your children maintain good oral hygiene practices!