Nothing can affect a child’s wellness, lifestyle, and quality of life more than proper oral hygiene. Children with poor oral health tend to miss school more often and make lower grades than their counterparts. A good smile lasts a lifetime, and it’s important to dedicate time every day to take care of their teeth!
Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic condition affecting U.S. children? By the time a child is eight years old, nearly half have some visible signs of decay on their teeth. While tooth decay can be frustrating to deal with, it’s also preventable with proper oral hygiene, and taking care of teeth can start at infancy.
For infants, taking care of gums and teeth while they’re young is key to maintaining natural habits as they age. Start by rubbing a wet cloth gently over their gums before teeth begin to surface. Once teeth begin to form, start gently flossing between teeth to avoid food buildup.
Since most children have around twenty teeth by the age of three, learning to take care of those chompers will help. Start by using regular adult fluoride toothpaste once your child turns six. Fluoride is perfectly safe and aids teeth strength while preventing tooth decay. Your dentist may also recommend dental sealants for a school-aged child. These are thin, plastic coatings that adhere to the chewing surfaces of teeth and prevent cavities from forming. They also assist in stopping plaque build-up between each tooth.
Now for heading to the dentist. Typically, a child needs a checkup every 6 or 12 months. Visiting a dentist will help make sure teeth are staying in line as well as alerting your dentist whenif braces are needed. These visits will additionally allow your child to feel more relaxed while getting to know this new environment.
National children’s health month opens up a wealth of resources and allows parents to get more involved and active in the health of their kids. It’s a great way for our practice to inform and engage parents as they try to make the world a better place for the kiddos!