Myth: Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be by their 3rd birthday
Fact: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should be by their 1st birthday. By the age of 3 about 10% of children have an oral health issue and by kindergarten an estimated 40% of children have had at least 1 cavity.
Myth: You shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste until your child can spit
Fact: Toothbrushing with a a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended as soon as the first primary tooth erupts. Fluoride is both safe and highly effective in significantly reducing the the chances of decay
Myth: Flossing baby teeth isn’t necessary
Fact: Once the primary teeth touch it is imperative to floss. Over 60% of the tooth is missed by not flossing. Primary teeth are about 1/3 as thick as permanent teeth and cavities progress much more rapidly in children than adults.
Myth: Baby teeth aren’t important
Fact: Primary teeth are the place-holders for permanent teeth. If lost too early, the dental arch can constrict leading to excessive crowding and the need for extensive orthodontic treatment.
Myth: Its ok to let my kindergartener brush their teeth by themselves
Fact: We recommend that parents supervise their children brushing as long as possible. Until children can tie their shoes by themselves (8-9) they will lack the dexterity to brush alone.
Dr. Ross Levine is a board certified pediatric dentist and has been honored by both The Bucks County Courier Times and Philadelphia Magazine as a Top Pediatric Dentist in Bucks County.