February was National Children’s Dental Health Month, and dental experts are telling moms and dads to take the time to encourage and promote good oral dental health habits for kids.
According to the American Dental Association, 78 percent of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17. Dr. Leslie Rudolph, a pediatric dentist, explained on Good Day that modeling great habits and establish good oral health routines from the start is key. This includes consuming a healthy diet, brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist at an early age.
The benefits of an early dental visit are:
– Establishing a “dental home” for your child. Somewhere comfortable that your child will actually enjoy being at.
– Your child will become accustomed to a child-friendly environment at the dentist’s office.
– Your pediatric dentist can discuss ways to prevent tooth decay and give you the tools to stop the cavities before they start.
– Early treatment will prevent potential infections, abscesses, and/or damage to the developing permanent teeth.
Cavities are a common chronic disease in childhood, according to the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Some tips to avoid include:
– Wipe baby’s gums with a damp cloth before any baby teeth come in
– Begin brushing your child’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first one comes in.
– Use a thin smear of toothpaste with fluoride until your child is 2 years old.
– After your child turns 2, uses a small dab (the size of a baby pea) of toothpaste with fluoride
– Use the recommended amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Swallowing too much fluoride before the age of 8 years old may cause stains to form in the permanent teeth.
– Any toothpaste with fluoride and the American Dental Association seal of acceptance is fine to use; pick any flavor your child loves.
– Any adjacent baby teeth that are touching are ready for flossing!
– Start early with good dietary habits with healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
– Keep your child hydrated by giving them plenty of water to drink between meals.
– Give your child servings of milk to drink to help build healthy bones and teeth.
– If you give your child soda or watered-down juice or sports drinks, use a regular drinking cup and limit the amount to less than 6 oz per day.
– Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.
– Teach your child to drink from a regular cup around their first birthday.
– Only put water in their sippy cup.
Children typically learn to brush their teeth on their own by six. Flossing is usually done on their own around eight, say many dentists. By starting kids off with good habits early in age, this goal will and can be easily met. Dr. Rosenberg in Plantation, Florida could not agree with these tips any stronger. If you are not a patient of Dr. Rosenberg, call now and set an appointment. You will be so happy that you gave his wonderful office a try.