February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – a month dedicated to promoting and raising awareness about oral health for children.
Unfortunately, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease found in children. Each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost due to dental problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, although tooth decay is largely preventable, it remains the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years at 25 percent, and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years at 59 percent.
Untreated tooth decay can cause pain, and possible infections which could lead to problems with eating, speaking, and learning. Fortunately, with good oral health care habits, tooth decay can be prevented.
Parents can help children develop good oral health habits by:
- Encouraging a well-balanced diet that limits sugar and starchy foods. If these foods are included in the daily diet, eating them with a meal and not as a snack produces extra saliva to help rinse the mouth.
- Using fluoride toothpaste protects children’s teeth (for children less than seven years old, use a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush as recommended on packaging).
- Brushing teeth twice daily. Parents may need to help younger children with this.
- Flossing teeth daily. You’ll need to floss for your children until they are around four years old.
- Scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings every six months.
- Asking a dentist about how to protect child’s teeth with dental sealants and fluoridated drinking water.
River Dentistry – your favorite Downtown Lost Angeles pediatric dentist office – provides quality pain-free preventive dental care for children which includes exams, cleanings, x-rays, sealants, and a fluoride varnish to protect and promote your children’s oral health.