Now that Valentine’s Day—complete with its candy and chocolates is behind us, it’s a great time to focus on National Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s never too soon to begin teaching your children about caring for their teeth.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, only one in four parents takes their child to the dentist by his or her first birthday. That’s the age health experts recommend children see a dentist for the first time. That means many children’s teeth are at risk.
“It’s important for parents and children to remember that healthy smiles begin with healthy teeth,” says Dr. Alexis Glaser. “That’s why parents should start scheduling appointments for their children when they are very young. Early dental visits when your children are young improve the chances your child will view dental visits as a regular part of their life.”
Here are some tips to help your child learn oral hygiene at an early age:
- Brush twice a day
- Make sure they spit out the toothpaste and don’t swallow it
- Minimize sugary snacks
The Benefits of Preventing Tooth Decay in Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cavities, also known as tooth decay, are one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain and infections that could affect your child’s eating, speaking, and learning. CDC researchers link children with poor oral health with increased school absences and lower grades.
From your child’s first visit, the team at Dr. Alexis DMD can provide essential information to you and your children about how to care for their teeth and gums when you’re at home. We can also answer any questions you have about thumb sucking, braces, or loose teeth.
Set a Good Dental Hygiene Example
Good and bad oral hygiene habits typically start at home. Your children should see you brushing and flossing every day. Use positive language to describe caring for your teeth and gums, as well as when your dental visits. Your example can have a substantial impact on your child’s attitude toward dental care.
Helping your child start on the right foot with oral care can lead to healthy habits later in life. By beginning regular dental visits with your child, you increase the chances they’ll have healthy dental habits as an adult.
Poor oral health has consequences, including cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Oral health is closely tied to the body’s overall health, so ensuring that your children have great habits can improve their smile and protect them from the negatives of poor oral hygiene.
National Children’s Dental Health Month is an excellent time to start encouraging healthy habits and help your little ones reap the benefits for the rest of their lives.
If you have questions about your child’s dental hygiene routine, call our Pembroke Pines dental office today. 954-431-8300. You can also schedule an appointment for your child’s first cleaning. We look forward to meeting you.