February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
There’s nothing we, as parents, want more for our children than a healthy life! We teach our kids to wash their hands, eat nutritious food, and take care of themselves. It’s also important to set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Great dental health now will provide overall health benefits well into adulthood.
The ADA and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a child have their first dental visit between the ages of six months and one year. Though this may sound early, it’s important to establish a comfortable routine with dental visits, watch for developmental issues, and provide parents the tools they’ll need to help their children remain cavity-free.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood. It’s also one that can be prevented! Here are some basic helpful guidelines provided by the ADA.
When teeth erupt, clean your child’s teeth at least twice a day with a xylitol toothpaste. Xylitol is an important prevention tool against tooth decay.
Take your child to the dentist by the baby’s first birthday. The earlier the visit, the better.
If you put your child to bed with a bottle, use nothing but water. When a child is given a bottle containing sugary liquids such as milk, formula or fruit juice, the teeth are under attack by bacterial acid for extended periods.
Breast-feeding has been shown to be beneficial for a baby’s health and development. However, after teeth appear, breast feeding often or for long periods can put your child at risk for severe tooth decay. Clean the baby’s mouth with a wet washcloth after breast-feeding, and encourage a bottle with plain water during the nighttime.
Switch from a bottle to a cup by age one.
With the right care, your child can grow up to have healthy teeth for a lifetime of smiles.