6 Surprising Facts about Children’s Dental Health
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which means we dedicate the entire month to raising awareness about healthy mouth care for children. Parents are the best partners in ensuring children have healthy smiles for life. Contribute to your child’s dental health by reading the facts list below, some of these facts might surprise you!
Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition affecting children in the U.S.
Forget colds, the flu or other conditions. Tooth decay, e.g. cavities, is the most common chronic condition of childhood in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.” This can cause major problems later in life and lead to frequent dental visits.
Tooth decay is preventable
The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Fluoride varnish, which is a high concentration fluoride coating that is painted on teeth, can prevent about one-third (33%) of decay in baby teeth. Children who brush daily with fluoride toothpaste will also have less tooth decay.
Dental sealants, which are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, can prevent tooth decay, too. Studies in children show that sealants “reduce decay in the permanent molars by 81% for 2 years after they are placed on the tooth and continue to be effective for 4 years after placement.”
Healthy mouth care begins before baby’s teeth erupt
In order to practice good oral hygiene before teeth erupt, use a soft cloth or an infant toothbrush to wipe baby’s gums twice a day. This will help prepare the baby for toothbrushing and it also keeps their gums clear of bacteria.
A mother’s poor oral care can cause her child to “catch” cavities
In 71 percent of cases of cavities, mothers are the source. Research shows that streptococcus mutans, which is a cavity-causing bacteria, can be transmitted from mom to baby even before the teeth erupt. The better oral care the mother practices, the less likely it is that the baby will have problems.
Children should have a dental visit by the time they are one year old
A baby can benefit seeing a pediatric dentist by her first birthday. The earlier the visit, the better, because this helps to ingrain healthy mouth care in a family-centered way with a dentist who is trained in treating children.
Candy is not the only culprit in poor dental health
The frequency with which your child eats candy and whether they have good brushing habits is one of the biggest impacts on the health of your children’s teeth. However, candy is not the only culprit, many foods can cause problems. For example, if you give your child snacks throughout the day such as crackers, cookies, bread and other starchy foods, this can increase the likelihood that he will develop cavities. If you give your child one piece of candy during a special occasion and make sure to brush his teeth afterward, you are less likely to cause a problem. For other helpful tips on sweets read our post on ways you can mitigate the impacts of candy on your child’s teeth.
Tooth decay, e.g. cavities, is the most common chronic condition of childhood in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.”…
Visit your Dentist Regularly
One of the best ways you can care for your children’s teeth is to see a pediatric dentist who is specialized in this area. Pediatric dentistry is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association and it’s important to find a dentist who specializes in children’s dental care. Dentists at Tru Family Dental are trained in providing oral health care for infants and children and we create a kid-friendly environment that is welcoming and fun. Give us a call today to make sure your child has a healthy smile for life.
Posted In: Pediatric Dental Care