If you are a new parent, you’re probably familiar with the idea of getting your child in the dentist office for dental work before their first birthday — or as soon as their first tooth comes in. However, you might not understand how important it is to fully take care of your child’s baby teeth. Even though these are the teeth that your child is only going to have for a short amount of time, it’s still important to take care of them.

If you don’t think it’s important to take care of your child baby teeth because they’re just going to fall out anyway, you may also believe a few other myths about them. Here are some common myths about your child’s baby teeth and the truths behind them.

Teething is Going to Make Your Child Sick
You may have heard that teething can cause your child to develop a fever, diarrhea, or a ton of other medical problems. However, anything your child develops due to normal teething is quite mild and easy to fix. Drooling or irritability goes hand-in-hand with teething, but these problems won’t last very long in most kids. Some babies may find their temperature to rise slightly, but an actual fever isn’t related to your baby teething. If you notice your child having a serious fever, reach out to the doctor immediately. It could be a sign of serious, but unrelated, sickness.

You Should Only Brush Your Child’s Teeth Once a Day
Even though you might not be that concerned about your baby’s oral hygiene yet, you need to make sure you’re brushing their teeth twice a day — baby teeth or not. It only takes about 24 hours for bacteria to develop in your child’s mouth, and this bacteria can cause cavities and other health issues. If you are only brushing your child’s teeth once a day, make the effort to step it up to two times. If your baby has yet to develop any teeth, it’s important to wash out their mouth using a damp washcloth. When they do get all their baby teeth, take a small, soft bristle toothbrush and an extremely small amount of toothpaste. Doing this twice a day will help prevent any potential problems.

My Child is a Baby and Can’t Develop Cavities
If you read the above message closely, you may have realized that babies can, in fact, develop cavities. Even though the teeth are going to fall out eventually, that doesn’t mean that any potential bacteria won’t linger on for years to come. Children are actually more likely to develop cavities than adults. In fact, more than 40% of children develop dental cavities by the time they enter kindergarten. Try to avoid feeding your child sugary drinks or sugary foods, and stay away from sharing utensils with them. These things can help prevent cavities in your baby’s mouth.

Even though baby teeth are going to fall out at some point in the near future, it’s still so important to take care of them in the meantime. Take a look at the myths listed above and keep them in mind the next time you consider ignoring those small teeth.

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