YOUR CHILD’S BABY TEETH are just as important as their permanent teeth. Kids may not keep their first teeth forever, but they require just as much diligent care as future permanent teeth. In fact, maintaining your child’s dental health when they are young will provide health benefits well into adulthood as well as set them on the right track of good oral health habits!
Some Children Don’t Get The Preventive Dental Care They Need
Early childhood caries—more commonly known as a dental cavity—is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. In light of this statistic, you may be surprised to learn that one quarter of children between ages three and 18 don’t visit the dentist at all! Although common, dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease are quite preventable, especially when healthy habits are taught during early childhood.
Start Oral Health Regimens Early
Even before your child’s teeth have erupted, an infant’s gums should be wiped down with a wet cloth or gauze after eating to protect from bacteria. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. At this visit, your dentist can teach you more about proper pediatric oral hygiene and check for cavities. As soon as your child turns two, establish a daily brushing routine. As your child gets older, there are two specific treatments we recommend to prevent tooth decay. These treatments are:
- Topical Fluoride – By applying fluoride directly to your child’s teeth in higher concentrations than found in toothpaste or water, they will be more protected and resistant to decay.
- Dental Sealants – These are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Even thorough brushing and flossing can’t always get into the depressions and grooves of the molars. Sealants form a protective shield over these vulnerable areas, keeping out plaque and food. Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in.
We Care About Your Children’s Oral Health
Baby teeth set the stage for the permanent teeth to develop and come in correctly. By taking care of them and teaching their children correct habits, parents ensure lifelong dental health for their children. At our practice, we are committed to promoting preventive dental care to ensure lasting health and happiness for you and your children!