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4 common myths about children’s teeth

21st October 2019

Ahead of the opening of our new Oral Health Education Suite, we’d thought we’d share some of the most common myths about caring for children’s teeth. Most of us get our oral health habits from our parents/carers, who don’t always know best! Check out the 4 common myths below, and make sure you are giving your children’s teeth the best possible start in life.

1. Baby teeth don’t matter because they fall out anyway – Wrong! Neglecting your children’s milk teeth can store up a lifetime of problems for them. Milk teeth have thinner enamel than permanent teeth so have less protection against bacteria. Decay can cause painful abscesses and if extractions are required, your child is more likely to develop crooked or problematic permanent teeth, as milk teeth help to create the right spacing. When it comes to children’s oral health, it is never too soon to start.

2. Your children don’t need to visit the dentist until they start school – Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admissions among 5-9-year olds. Extractions can be traumatic for a child and set up lifetime’s fear of the dentist. Bring them to visit us as soon as their first tooth appears (around six months of age) and then as often as we recommend (usually every six months). And remember, check-ups and treatment for all children are free on the NHS.

3. Fruit juice is a healthy choice for kids – Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and fruit is packed with a natural sugar called fructose. Many popular juice brands contain as much sugar as fizzy drinks! Avoid giving fruit juice to your children, but if you do, we recommend that you always dilute it, only give it to them as part of a meal, and never give it to them to drink out of a bottle.

4. You should rinse after brushing your teeth – In fact, you and your children should spit the toothpaste out, but don’t rinse. Rinsing washes away the protective fluoride found in toothpaste, which goes on working after you have finished brushing. If your child doesn’t like the minty taste, find a toothpaste with a milder flavour, but make sure it contains fluoride.

For lots more practical oral health tips, diet information and support with your brushing, or if your child is overdue a dental check-up, call reception on 01805 623657 for an appointment. Making dental visits a routine part of their childhood is the best way to ensure they never have anything to fear from the dentist!

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