National Children’s Dental Health Month: Importance of Dental Care for Children is crucial throughout the year but February is a time when we highlight its importance. Did you know the number one dental issue for pre-schoolers is tooth decay? The startling statistics show:
When parents call our office to discuss the dental health of their children, we remind them that baby teeth matter. Even though those teeth will eventually be lost, dental decay in baby teeth can impact permanent teeth and lead to future dental health problems.
How can a parent help promote dental health in their child?
Teaching a child good dental habits, and making brushing fun is the best first step. Coach your child to properly brush his teeth and make it part of the daily routine. As a parent you will need to supervise the brushing to make certain your child is doing it correctly. Brush alongside your child and have her emulate your actions. A child will be about six- or eight-years-old before he can be “trusted” to thoroughly and correctly brush his own teeth.
Check your child’s teeth for white or brown spots as this could be a sign of early tooth decay.
When should you start brushing your child’s teeth?
As soon as the first tooth erupts from your child’s gums you should begin brushing two to three times a day. Use a dollop of toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice, on a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles.
When your child is three -years-old begin using a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste when brushing. Fluoride can prevent cavities. Choose a toothpaste flavor your child enjoys, but make certain they don’t swallow the toothpaste. Make spitting the toothpaste into the sink part of the whole experience.
Limit the amount of sugary treats your child receives
In addition to brushing your child’s teeth, with a soft brush and a fluoride toothpaste, you need to limit sugary treats, snacks and drinks your child has. The more often your child’s teeth are exposed to sugar, the greater the risk of getting a cavity. Dried fruit and fruit snacks will stick to teeth and cause damage. Always brush your child’s teeth after a sugary snack.
Your pediatrician will check your child’s teeth and gums during regular check-ups. If he/she notices a problem, he may refer you to a pediatric dentist. During your child’s first dental check-up a dentist will examine your child’s mouth to make certain all of their teeth are developing properly and that there are no early dental problems. Your dentist will also provide information on proper dental hygiene.
Look for a dental practice, such as Westermeier-Martin Dental Care in Buffalo, NY that understands the importance of your child having an enjoyable first experience at the dentist’s office.
If you have questions about your child’s dental health or when he or she could come to the first dental examination, give our office a call and we can help you make that decision. Good dental hygiene can lead to a lifetime of happy smiles!
Is it time to make a dentist appointment for yourself or your child? You can click here to make an appointment with Westermeier Martin Dental Care or you can call our office.