February is Children’s Dental Health Month!

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors the Children’s Dental Health Month. This is a campaign that aims to raise awareness regarding the importance of oral health in the nation’s little ones. The 66th edition will gather thousands of dental professionals and health care providers to promote the benefits of good oral health under the motto ‘Defeat Monster Mouth’.

Well, the campaign is also focused on educating parents, caregivers and teachers with respect to the common dental issues in children. Unfortunately, numerous people out there know very little about the topic and the lack of accurate information often leads to misconceptions. The following are some of the kids’ oral health myths that even some adults still believe today.

1.     Children don’t need to see a dentist until they get their first adult tooth

Ideally, parents should bring their toddlers for their first check-up when they are around one years old. The explanation is that many kids tend to fall down fairly often during their active toddler period, and that can translate into oral injuries. In addition, a dentist can help educate parents about the best practices in terms of caring for their children’s teeth and oral health. While many people don’t worry too much about cavities in baby teeth, take note that they can lead to numerous other dental problems in the future. 

2.     Children’s gums will always bleed when flossing

As a rule of thumb, if the gums become inflamed and bleed, then that is a clear sign of gum disease. Even though adults avoid flossing because it makes their gum bleed, the key to healthy gums consists of flossing and regular brushing. Granted, sometimes the gums can bleed despite a patient’s correct oral hygiene practices. Keep in mind this issue is rare and in most cases can happen, it can be addressed by rinsing with warm salt water while continuing to brush and floss regularly.

3.     Children get more cavities than adults

Because children allegedly have poorer brushing habits, most adults assume that children in general develop more cavities than adults. In reality, cavities will appear irrespective of age in anyone who doesn’t know how to brush and floss correctly. Cavities mainly occur when the bacteria in the mouth weakens the enamel and continues to damage the tooth. Eventually, the decay will form a hole in the protective upper layer.

4.     Children who don’t eat a lot of candies won’t get cavities

While it’s your responsibility as a parent to manage your children’s sugar intake, let’s not forget that this ingredient is sneaky and not always sweet. Not only is sugar present in kids’ favorite drinks like juice and milk, but the microorganisms responsible for cavities also feed on carbohydrates from snacks like goldfish and cookies. Therefore, your child can develop cavities regardless of what he or she is eating.

5.     Children don’t need help with brushing once they learn the ropes

In case you didn’t know, kids don’t have the physical dexterity to properly brush their teeth until they’re about 8 years old. A visit to the dentist’s office can reveal all. The importance of supervising your child closely and teaching him to brush in the hard-to-reach areas cannot be stressed enough, so make sure you start your kid off on the right track!