Knowledge on infant oral health can secure the basis of good oral health habits which later on can have an impact on dental disease prevention. You as the parent are the primary care giver to your child and your role in preventing tooth decay is crucial.
However, over the years, there have been certain myths about infant oral health and young parents are troubled with questions about the right time to start brushing, at what age should their children start going to the dentists and what toothbrush or toothpaste should they be using.
When you search these questions online, you will get a ton of answers, some of them being factually true and others are complete myths. But how to set them apart?
Today we will like to help young parents by debunking some of the most common infant oral health myths.
Infant Oral Health Myth #1 – There’s no need to start brushing your child’s teeth at young age
Parent know that good oral hygiene is important in preventing dental problems. Brushing is the cornerstone of oral hygiene and as such a cornerstone of infant oral health. So naturally, parents would like to know when should they start brushing their children’s teeth.
Many articles say that you shouldn’t brush at a young age, which isn’t true. The fact is that children should start brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts. This is the official recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Even before that happens, parents can still clean the gum pads of infants. Naturally you won’t be using a toothbrush, but a sterilized gauze should do the trick. Just like with toothbrushing, gum cleaning should be done twice a day, especially after the last feed at night.
Myth #2 – You shouldn’t schedule a first dental appointment until the age of three
Experts at AAPD recommend that you should schedule the first dental appointment for your child even before his/her first birthday.
Early visits and regular dental checkups can provide a good foundation of infant oral health. And not just that. Through these appointments, the dentists can assess the risk of dental problems, tech parents about good oral hygiene practices, provide dietary counselling and so on. So it’s beneficial both to the infant and parents.
Myth #3 – Brushing once every day is enough to keep your child cavity free
Just like with adults, to maintain good infant oral health, children should also brush twice a day. Brushing the once is not sufficient to clean all the plaque and keep the teeth clean throughout the day.
Unlike adults, children should use soft-bristle toothbrushes and use different techniques when brushing. Children should use, what is known as Fones techniques, meaning that they brush with horizontal strokes. You can also add rinsing with mouthwash to this routine, as soon as your child can spit.
Infant Oral Health Myth #4 – During teething your child will get sick
Teething is a natural process during which the gum pads of your child prepare for tooth eruption. Teething can start at the age of 3 months and can last up to 2 years.
During this time, you will notice that you child might be more irritable than usual, will be putting his/her fingers in their mouth more often, will eat less and he/she will have more saliva than usual. Sometimes, children can spike a fever but it goes away after a day or two. In case the fever persists, you should take you child to the doctor.
We hope that these debunked infant oral health myths will help you take good care of your children’s teeth and teach them good oral hygiene habits. An in case you need to make an appointment for a dental checkup, feel free to contact us.