Children’s Dental Health Month is a month-long health observance that brings together dental professionals, health care providers and others to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene in children.
The most common chronic and transmissible disease among children is tooth decay. More than 40% of children between the ages of 2-11 have had a cavity in their primary teeth (baby teeth). The good news is that there are many ways to protect your teeth. Good oral hygiene is a strategy to help prevent tooth decay in children, teens and adults.
Cavities are the end product of an infection involving certain types of bacteria that certain foods have. These foods have sugars which make acid, which creates cavities.
This is why it is enforced to keep a good oral hygiene at home, brushing in the morning and at night with a fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouth rinse is recommended. Don’t forget to floss! Flossing daily creates the perfect combination for good oral hygiene.
Your back teeth have deep crevasses that aren’t always reached and cleaned with a toothbrush. Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that the dentist may place on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth to prevent food and bacteria out of those pits and grooves. Dental sealants are safe and effective in order to prevent cavities from forming. Not all patients are candidates for these though, in the US less than one third of children have sealants on their teeth.
Bringing your child to the dentist should be a priority, just like bringing them to the doctor. Dentist appointments should be started at age 1 and they should be seen every 6 months or as recommended by the dentist.
Good oral hygiene is especially important for children wearing braces. It is recommended to rinse 3-4 times a day to loosen food that might be caught in the braces, and then brush thoroughly. Make sure your child brushes each night before bed, they’ll need to rinse or brush with a fluoride rinse or toothpaste. The dentist or hygienist may also recommend more frequent cleanings, different toothpaste or rinse.
Here is a video of Oral Surgeon and Mother, Dr. Caroline Kacer, along with her husband, Orthodontist, Dr. Kurt Kacer. In this video they explain as parents what they do to keep their daughter’s teeth clean.