February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time dedicated to teaching kids (and parents) the importance of maintaining good oral health and preventing cavities. The American Dental Association takes pediatric dental care seriously – and so does your Johns Creek family dentist, who is determined to set every child up for a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy gums.
The Danger of Childhood Tooth Decay
It’s easy to slack on dental care for little kids by reasoning that they’re going to lose all those tiny teeth eventually anyway. But baby teeth are important. They stay in a child’s mouth for eight to 10 years, and not only does their presence or absence affect chewing and speaking, they also play the major role of saving space for every permanent tooth.
Pulling a baby tooth that has a cavity is not the easy route since “the tooth is going to fall out anyway.” Allowing an infected tooth to fester is also dangerous, because untreated tooth decay can lead to oral infections that enter the bloodstream and cause other health problems. Bacteria can also spread to adult teeth under the surface. Children need white fillings to correct tooth decay, even in baby teeth.
8 Tips for Maintaining Children’s Dental Health
- See the dentist. See your Johns Creek dentist every six months. Kids need regular cleanings and check-ups
- Brush. Brush twice each day for two minutes. Your child may want to be an independent brusher, so you can compromise – supervise the morning brushing and do the evening brushing for them. They may make a lot of froth with the toothpaste but that doesn’t indicate good brushing technique.
- Floss. Floss every day before bed, especially once teeth start to touch.
- Replace brushes. Get your kids a new toothbrush every three to four months.
- Snack smart. Kids want the chewy, gummy, sweet stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with occasional treats, but the healthier the snacks the less that gets stuck to your kids’ teeth. Offer up cheese,
- Drink smart. Kids love flavored beverages, but fruit juice and sports drinks are full of sugar that bathes the teeth in bacteria and acid. It may not cling like sticky candy and sweets, but it doesn’t do any favors for the teeth. Hydrate with water, which also washes away everything they’re eating, keeping their teeth cleaner.
- Use fluoride water. If your municipal water source does not contain fluoride and you can’t just get it from the tap, buy nursery water which has fluoride. One cup a day can benefit your kids’ teeth and help prevent against tooth decay.
- Choose chocolate. If you’re giving your child a candy treat, always opt for chocolate over other types of sweets. Chocolate washes away from teeth much more quickly and easily and does not linger.
Maintain Happy Kids’ Smiles
You want your child to maintain that beautiful, white smile forever. And while those tiny teeth will come and go, you can protect their oral health starting right now with a few extra minutes of oral health care every day.
Early childhood tooth decay is a chronic childhood disease. Save your kids from the pain and discomfort of cavities and the stress of dental work. Become part of the Hello Family Dental practice, serving Johns Creek, Suwanee, Alpharetta, and all the neighboring communities. Schedule your child’s cleaning and checkup today.