Don’t get fooled by these myths & facts

By Timothy Johnson

As we turn the calendar to April, don’t be fooled by dental and orthodontic myths.

Good oral hygiene is crucial to your health and well-being. Separating myth from fact is important. Your smile depends on it. We’ve gathered some of the most common myths about dental practices and busted them for you. The dental professionals at EJL Dental can help answer any questions or, dispel any concerns you may have about the proper care of your teeth and gums. We are trained to provide the facts so you won’t be fooled into missing out on the best dental care possible for you and your family.

Dental Myths

Myth

Your child does not need to see a dentist until the age of 4 years.

Fact

First dental visits are mostly educational. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that every child visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics  recommend a child visit the dentist by age one as well. This “well baby check” for the teeth can establish a dental home and helps ensure that parents learn the tools they’ll need to help their children remain cavity-free.

Take the baby to see a pediatric dentist by the baby’s first birthday. The earlier the visit, the better. It is important to establish a dental home to ensure that the child’s oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, ongoing, accessible, coordinated and family-centered way by the dentist.

Myth

Do not use Fluoride Toothpaste until your child can spit.

Fact

Even though the baby teeth have not erupted, infants still need fluoride to help developing teeth grow strong. A pediatric dentist will determine the child’s fluoride needs during the initial consultation.

Children older than six months may need a fluoride supplement if their drinking water does not contain the ideal amount of fluoride. Fluoride has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 50 to 70 percent. A pediatric dentist will help determine whether the child needs a fluoride supplement and, if so, will prescribe the proper amount based upon the child’s age, fluoride levels in her primary source of drinking water, and other dietary sources of fluoride. Fluoride is conveniently available in fluoride drops or in combination with prescription vitamins.

Myth

No need to fill baby teeth because they fall out anyway.

Fact

While it is true that baby teeth do eventually come out, it is also true that they are important to a child in the meantime. Primary or baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth to grow in. If one is lost, the others can shift into the empty space and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting. This often means a crooked smile in a child’s future. In addition, a decayed tooth can become abscessed and cause discomfort for a child. “Tooth decay causes significant pain, loss of school days and may lead to infections and even death.” Left untreated, dental cavities can result in a broad range of functional impairments that have far-reaching implications for growth, development, school performance, and peer relationships.

Dental References: http://www.aapd.org/assets/1/7/fastfacts.pdf

Orthodontic Myths

Myth: Braces are just for kids.

Fact: According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. It’s never too late to correct problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position, or jaw-joint disorders. The biological process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age, although it may take longer for an adult than a child or adolescent.

Myth:  Your child shouldn’t see an orthodontist until all their adult teeth have erupted.

Fact:  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7. Few patients will need to begin treatment that young, but there are some who will benefit from early intervention. For these patients, treatment is likely to consist of guiding the growth of the jaws so that the permanent teeth are in good positions as they come in. A check-up while some baby teeth are still present, and while the face and jaws are growing, may reveal that immediate treatment is not necessary, but that the child could benefit from treatment in the future. In these cases, the patient visits the orthodontist periodically to monitor growth and development. This “watchful waiting” gives the orthodontist the opportunity to advise parents when the best time is for that child to begin treatment. Often the orthodontist is able to take advantage of predictable periods of a patient’s growth and intervene so that orthodontic treatment can have the best results possible. There are some things that cannot be accomplished once the face and jaws are no longer growing.

Orthodontic References: https://www.aaoinfo.org/
This is a fact, at EJL Dental we debunk the myths, share valuable information with our families and create individualized treatment plans for you and your family members, no fooling!

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