When it comes to common childhood diseases, tooth decay still tops the list in spite of the recent improvements to dental care in the United States. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth decay is five times more common than asthma in children and teenagers. For children aged 2-4, tooth decay affects more than one-fifth of the population. Half of the children in the age group of 6-8 are affected and 60 percent of teenagers over the age of 15 are affected by tooth decay according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Parents must remember the importance of their children’s dental health. As a parent, there are simple things you can do to help ensure your children’s dental health. Practicing these simple steps can avoid tooth decay and other dental health problems.
Regular and Proper Brushing
For babies, use a toothbrush designed for infants and toddlers and brush their gums and emerging teeth gently on a daily basis. For children aged six and under, parental supervision should be the norm. Once their baby teeth are in, you should brush their teeth for them twice per day with a small amount of ADA-approved toothpaste. If you child wants to brush on their own, let them do so but be sure to follow with proper brushing done by you. As the child grows older, continue to supervise their brushing technique to ensure they are reaching all their teeth and brushing thoroughly.
See Your Dentist
Once your baby’s first tooth appears, it is time to schedule a dentist’s appointment. This is important to take care of as soon as possible and should be completed by the baby’s first birthday.
Drink Fluoridated Water
One of the easiest things you can do to promote good dental health and to prevent tooth decay is to drink fluoridated water. Most municipalities already fluoridate their water supply, but 40 percent of households in the United States do not have access to fluoridated water. If you do not have access to regularly fluoridated water, discuss this issue with us at Brenham Family Dentistry and we can provide fluoridation recommendations for you.
The importance of flossing your teeth and gums cannot be overstated. Regular flossing will remove small particles of food that becomes lodged between your child’s teeth and in the gum tissues. Teaching this practice will encourage your children to continue flossing as adults if they are taught properly at a young age.
Monitor and regulate your child’s intake of sweet sugar-filled foods and beverages. Maintaining a healthy diet of balanced foods while staying properly hydrated will promote good overall dental health. Choose fruits and vegetables for snacking instead of candy or cookies, and provide water instead of soda for beverages.
Brenham Family Dentistry serves parents and children in the Brenham, TX area so if you have any questions or concerns about the best way to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy as they grow, be sure to call us today for a consultation. We also offer a wide range of services for the entire family so call us today!