Dr. Jennifer Moseley-Stevens, a Pediatric Dentist at First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry in Howard/Suamico, Bellevue, and Shawano, joins us to help dispel some common dental health myths. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, read on to learn more about how best to care for your children’s pearly whites, and help them grow up with healthy teeth!
Happy Children’s Dental Health Month!!
Myth #1: A child’s first dentist visit should occur at age 3.
Fact: A child should visit the dentist for the first time within six months of their first tooth erupting, and no later than their first birthday. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) ALL recommend a dental visit no later than baby’s first birthday. Read more here: Milestone Alert: First Dentist Visit!
Myth #2: Toddlers shouldn’t use toothpaste when brushing.
Fact: Toddlers (children younger than age three) should have their teeth brushed with fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. This nearly invisible amount of toothpaste still helps to remove sugars and plaque from the surface of teeth, and the fluoride brushed onto the tooth’s surface helps to reinforce the strength of the tooth structure. Once a child is about the age of three (or when they can reliably spit), their teeth should be brushed with fluoride toothpaste about the size of a pea.
Myth #3: Children can brush their own teeth when they’re about 3-5 years old.
Fact: Children should receive help brushing their teeth until they have consistent manual dexterity (consider their handwriting and how clearly and legibly they can shape letters). For most children, this means getting help from mom or dad up until they are about 8 years old. This is when fine-motor skills become better developed. They can certainly brush their own teeth independently before this age, but they should be supervised to ensure they are reaching all areas of their mouth. Parents should also visually check to ensure their teeth have been fully cleaned.
Myth #4: Fruit juice is a healthy beverage.
Fact: While occasional fruit juice consumption may be a healthy source of Vitamin C, the importance of drinking water cannot be overstated. Many parents are surprised to find out just how much sugar can be found in fruit juice – even 100% fruit juice. So if/when fruit juice is given, it should be followed by water to help rinse the sugars away. In fact, taking sips of water throughout the day is essential to rinsing food particles and bacteria away from teeth. Water truly is the beverage of choice.
To learn more about children’s dental health myths, visit fidkids.com or call 920-434-4600.
Dr. Jennifer Moseley-Stevens is a Pediatric Dentist and Partner with First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry. She earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Loma Linda University and completed her Pediatric Dentistry Residency there as well. She, her husband, and their daughters enjoy calling the Green Bay area home!
Do you have questions about your child’s general dental health or about any myths you’ve heard? Ask below!!