Children’s Dental Health Month takes place in the month of February. Tooth decay is one of the most troubling health concerns of childhood. Thankfully cavities, also known as caries, are a preventable concern. There’s more to maintaining exceptional oral health than just keeping a beautiful smile. Children with poor oral health are prone to missing additional days of school and have lower grades on average. We’re here to provide you with a list of useful tools to help prevent your child from developing cavities.
Learning About Cavities In Children
Cavities do more than just put the health of your child’s teeth in danger. They can also be the source of significant pain infections and be the source of certain developmental concerns. Children with poor oral health often develop issues with speaking and learning. Maintaining good nutrition can also be a struggle as poor oral health can make eating difficult. Even more concerning, those who live in lower-income households often don’t get adequate treatment for these cavities. This makes preventing cavities an important part of helping your child succeed. One easy way to remember how to help your child maintain their oral health is by keeping these PEARLS of Wisdom in mind:
- Protect tiny teeth – It all starts during your pregnancy. When you care for your oral health while pregnant, you’re also helping to protect your child’s teeth. Even at this early stage, your child’s oral health begins with you.
- Ensure you clean your baby’s gums after each meal
- Avoid bottles at bedtime, especially those with juice or milk.
- Remember to aid your child in keeping up with brushing their teeth twice a day. Ensure they’re using fluoride toothpaste when past age 2. Talk to your dentist about toothpaste before that age.
- Limit the amount of sugar your child receives. You can do this by encouraging healthy foods and avoiding those with added sugar. This goal means giving them more vegetables and fruit and fewer candies, cookies, and fruit drinks. These steps will contribute to a future with good oral health.
It’s also essential that you take your child to the dentist by the time they reach one year of age or when their first tooth makes an appearance. Their tiny teeth make a huge difference in their oral health as adults. Keeping their young teeth until they fall out naturally ensures proper spacing and alignment when their adult teeth arrive.
The Importance Of Your Child’s Early Dental Visits
In addition to making certain that their young teeth are taken care of, early dental visits set an important precedent. They ensure that your child is comfortable with visiting the dentist. These visits also help to identify developing concerns in time to treat them early. This not only serves to protect your child’s oral health but also avoids costly orthodontic care down the road. You’ll also be able to take care of preventative dental care such as sealants. This treatment coats the teeth and protects them from bacteria and acids that could lead to the development of cavities and gum disease.