Happy Valentines Day 2017!
Happy February everyone! We all know that February is known for Valentine’s day and with that holiday we associate love, sweets, and flowers. Did you know that February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month? This month we want to remind you of some easy ways to maintain great oral health for the little ones in your life. Some people think that if kids get cavities on baby teeth that it is no big deal because they will fall out anyway- not true. It is true that the baby teeth are meant to fall out but not until they are ready to be replaced by the healthy adult teeth, and some of those baby teeth are meant to remain in the mouth until 12-14 years of age. If a child gets a cavity in a baby tooth it can hurt them and nobody likes pain, so let’s work together to prevent that from happening. Our little ones depend on us to teach them how to care for their teeth so that they will be healthy until it is time for the tooth fairy to make a visit. Here are some easy tips to help improve and maintain good oral health for your little ones and their teeth:
1. BRUSHING & FLOSSING ROUTINE:
Brushing our kids’ teeth is important to do 2 times a day and especially at night. Many times, kids will fall asleep without brushing and the bacteria that cause cavities can go to work destroying tooth structure all night long if not removed. It can help to establish a routine for kids so that they get into good habits at a young age to continue those habits into adulthood as well. Flossing can be a challenge sometimes, but there are flossers made for kids with fun shapes and colors that have fruity flavors kids like. If you need any advice or tips to help you improve these practices, please ask your dentist or hygienist.
2. LIMIT SWEETS & TREATS
It is important to limit the amount of sugars that we consume for not only our teeth but also our overall health. Sugars are found in so many of the foods and drinks available so please read the labels of what you are giving your little ones to make sure that they are getting healthy snacks and foods. Fruits and veggies are always a good choice and an occasional treat can be okay but juices and sodas are discouraged. Many sugar drinks have sugar and acid present which will cause cavities quickly in those little teeth. It is best to have kids drink water throughout the day and only have milk or juice with a meal to limit the amount of time sugar is being put onto the teeth.
3. BAD HABITS
Some of our little ones like to suck their thumb or will not give up their pacifier- these habits can lead to problems in the future. If a child sucks their thumb/fingers, it can cause the teeth to flare out or reshape the roof of their mouth which can lead to costly orthodontic/braces treatments in the future. Pacifiers should be discouraged once children start talking or are over 1 year of age. If you are concerned or having trouble breaking these habits, please ask your dentist or pediatrician what you can do.
4. DON’T SHARE GERMS
Our kids are not born with the bacteria to cause cavities- so how do they get that bacteria? From us. We, adults, give it to them by sharing utensils or cups. The last thing we want for our little ones is to cause them any trouble so it is best to keep our germs to ourselves.
5. REGULAR DENTAL CHECK-UPS
We are happy to see your little ones if you have any concerns. Often your pediatrician will be checking on your kid’s teeth with their regular check-ups, but when they get to age 3 we ask that you bring them in for a dental cleaning and get them acquainted with our office. You are welcome to bring them with you to one of your appointments to observe how things are done so that they are not afraid of the process when it is their turn. It is our goal to provide a comfortable, fun, and educational appointment to your little one. We strive to earn their trust and build a strong relationship that will last them a lifetime to ensure great dental health.
We will discuss your child’s dental health with you and offer ways to prevent cavities such as sealants and fluoride treatments. Sealants are a great easy and painless way to prevent cavities by simply painting the deep grooves of the teeth where the bacteria try to hide. Fluoride treatments are offered as another inexpensive and easy way to prevent cavities. We will be checking your child’s teeth for cavities but also looking at the position of the teeth to determine the need for orthodontic treatment or braces. It is best if we can evaluate kids early on to determine what would be the best treatment for them.