Taking care of your children’s oral health is important no matter what time of year it is. However, February is a special month that is geared towards raising awareness and promoting dental health best practices. Of course adults are not exempt, as we all need to brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash everyday. This is particularly true for children though, as their teeth are still growing and in the sensitive, developmental stage. To drive the point home, did you know that nearly ½ of children will have a cavity by the time they are 11? A form of tooth decay and an indicator of potentially worse problems, cavities should be prevented at all costs.
As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to keep your child’s dental health in great shape. This is why the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month; it is a great way to make parents aware of the problems that can occur as a result of poor dental hygiene and it also offers helpful resources for implementing safe and effective oral cleaning. It is important to remember that everything in the body is connected; when dental health suffers, so does your overall health and immunity. A person’s mouth is the primary zone for bacterial growth, which if left untreated, can lead to nasty and harmful diseases. Here are some quick tips for keeping your child’s (and your) dental health in tip-top shape.
Dental Health Best Practices
- Limit sugar intake; sweets are the number one contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Tooth enamel is also put at risk for deterioration, which is never a good thing as this does not grow back.
- Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash every day will keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy. Be sure to buy a soft-bristled brush and sensitive mouthwash, as adult mouths are generally tougher.
- Visit the dentist twice a year and listen to their recommendations; this is by far the most important thing you can do. If your family dentist advises bringing your child in more frequently, be sure to do so.
- Educate your child about their dental health; there are many fun ways to get the point across to young children, so be creative. The American Dental Association offers plenty of activities that parents can do with their children in this respect.