February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so what better time to focus on the importance of taking care of our teeth from a young age? The sooner mouth care starts, the more likely it is to mitigate long-term damage that’s seen in adulthood.
Keep reading to learn why taking care of children’s dental health is so important and ways to ensure they’re properly brushing and flossing!
Healthy teeth help children speak clearly and chew more easily, while poor oral health can negatively affect their performance in school, social relationships, and success later in life. That’s why it’s crucial to instill healthy oral habits from a young age. Setting the foundation for oral care early sets them up for a healthy mouth throughout their entire life.
To put it simply, the sooner dental checkups start for children, the healthier their mouths will be throughout their lives. The American Dental Association says every child should visit the dentist by age one or by the time their first tooth appears. After their first visit, they should continue to visit the dentist every six months to prevent cavities or take care of other dental issues in the early stages.
Pro tip: did you know good dental care can begin before babies even start teething? To maintain good oral health for infants, try running a clean, damp washcloth over their gums to get rid of sugar, residue, and harmful bacteria.
Dental cavities, otherwise known as tooth decay, are the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 50% of children have had a cavity in their baby teeth, and children from low-income families are twice as likely to experience tooth decay. That said, it’s essential to keep in mind that cavities are almost entirely preventable.
To ensure your children are properly brushing their teeth and flossing, try a few of the following tips:
- Teach them. Watch videos or read books that let them know the importance of daily dental hygiene.
- Let them choose their own toothbrush. They might be more inclined to use one that is their favorite color or has their favorite character on it.
- Do it together. Use a timer or play their favorite song when they’re brushing their teeth to make sure they brush for the full 2 minutes.
- Try a reward system. Create a brushing or flossing chart and put a sticker on the chart for each day. When they hit five (or more) consecutive days in a row, they get a prize!
Now that we know how important children’s dental health is, it’s time to schedule their next appointment if you haven’t done so already. There’s no need to research “dentist near me,” when the best dentist in Lancaster, PA is in your area!
At Smiles by Stevens, we’re committed to providing the highest quality of care for both you and your children. Contact us today for all your general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry needs, and we’ll show you why we’re considered the best. Just ask our customers!