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Fiction vs Facts in Dental Health in Children

October 16, 2021

Fiction – “children’s teeth fall out anyway, so it’s not important to look after them”

Fact – “Yes, children’s teeth do eventually exfoliate and make way for their permanent teeth, however baby teeth play a vital role in your child’s growth and development – early loss of these teeth may result in speech delays, nutritional defects, airway obstructions, facial growth and increased need for orthodontic intervention in the future” 

Fiction – “Children don’t need to see a dentist until they start to get their adult teeth”

Fact – “We recommend to commence dental visits from the age of 12months to ensure familiarity and continuity of care for your child. If your child does unfortunately develop decay or an abscess, you want your child to be comfortable and familiar with their oral health professional to ensure their problems are not only diagnosed early, but also able to be treated while causing minimal distress to your child” 

Fiction – “If my child’s tooth gets knocked out, scrub it with disinfectant and put it back into the socket” 

Fact – “Only adult teeth should be repositioned back into a socket if it has been knocked out. Baby teeth should never be repositioned as doing so can disturb the growth and development of the adult tooth underneath. Don’t touch the root of the tooth, handle by the crown only, rinse with saline or milk and gently place it back into the socket – ask the child to gently bite on something soft, like a hanky and get to a dentist as soon as possible” 

Fiction – “Children’s teeth don’t need to be flossed” 

Fact – “Both adults and children should floss their teeth as soon as they have contact with adjacent teeth – if you or your child is unsure of how to floss, as your Oral Health Therapist to show you how” 

Fiction – “If my child doesn’t like to brush their teeth, it’s best not to force it, they’ll learn eventually” 

Fact – “In reality, it only takes a very short period of time for a tooth to develop decay if not cleaned properly, daily. Gentle positive reinforcements and rewards charts are a great way to encourage your child to brush their own teeth, or allow you to brush them for them until the age of 8” 

Fiction – “Children can brush their own teeth if they want to” 

Fact – “Generally, children don’t have the dexterity to effectively brush their own teeth until the age of 8 – we recommend parental help until this age” 

Fiction – “We don’t need fluoride in our toothpaste, brushing them alone is enough”

Fact – “Fluoride is an essential part of the structure of our teeth. Without fluoride, acids attack the teeth and areas of decay begin – sometimes these areas are able to be reversed with higher concentrations of fluoride, but without fluoride all together, the cavities will get larger and require more complex, potentially more expensive, treatment. You wouldn’t build a house without nails and you shouldn’t brush your teeth without fluoride toothpaste.

two girls and one male toddler looking at the camera brushing their teeth