Did you know that tooth decay is the most chronic childhood disease? Tooth decay can start any time after the first tooth comes in, starting as early as around 6 months of age. It is essential to establish good dental habits in early childhood to prevent or lessen the impact of tooth decay and to promote lifelong oral health. Establishing good dental habits in early childhood is essential for preventing or lessening the impact of tooth decay while ensuring a lifetime of good oral health. February is national dental month where we focus on teaching the basic habits necessary to ensure good oral health.
1) Healthy baby teeth are the foundation for proper alignment of adult teeth.
2) Untreated tooth decay and other oral health issues can not only cause discomfort and pain, but also lead to school absences and difficulty learning, ability to speak and eat and thus impact confidence and overall nutrition.
So, how do we get our children on the right track?
1) Regular dental visits are vital. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday and continue regular dental visits thereafter. Visiting the dentist early and often can help set the foundation for good oral health care and allows the child and parent to establish a relationship with the dentist.
2) A good home oral health routine is important. This means – brushing at least 2 times a day and flossing once a day.
Children should brush twice a day and floss once a day just as adults should. Parents should practice good oral health habits themselves, which makes establishing a routine for their children easier. We also recommend parents help children brush and floss — or at least supervise — until they are 7 or 8, when most children can properly care for their teeth with occasional reminders.
We love getting out and being part of the community. Dr. Patel and her staff were truly blessed to be able to get out and teach over 50 kids between the ages of 3-8 how to properly take care of their teeth. Through hands-on demonstrations, the children learned what happens in a dental visit and how to take care of their teeth.