The foundation for a lifelong healthy smile starts with proper oral hygiene habits from a young age. To foster the development of young smiles, February is dedicated as National Children’s Dental Health Month. Every year, dental professionals around the world strive to raise awareness to the importance of proper oral hygiene and regular care from a children’s dentist in South Hadley. This year, the focus is on preventing tooth decay. As the most common chronic disease in children, it is preventable with the right care.
Combat Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the biggest threat hurting the smiles of young children in America. According to the American Dental Association, it is estimated that 20% of children between the ages of 5-11 and 13% of those between the ages of 12-19 have at least one untreated cavity. While tooth decay is common, it is easily preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular appointments with your family dentist in South Hadley.
Prevent Tooth Decay
Even before the first baby tooth erupts, you can begin to set the right foundation for your child’s dental health by encouraging proper oral hygiene habits. Even something as simple as wiping their gums with a wet soft cloth twice a day will get them into the habit of caring for their teeth. After their first baby tooth breaks through, you can begin to introduce brushing and flossing, as well as other habits to promote a healthy smile.
Brush Twice a Day: Choose a toothbrush that accommodates the size of your child’s mouth to brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Clean all surfaces of their teeth, as well as their tongue to reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
Floss Daily: Around the age of 5, the spaces between your child’s teeth will close and you can begin to introduce flossing into part of their daily routine. Carefully clean in between each tooth to remove plaque buildup.
Eat a Balanced Diet: Reduce your child’s risk for tooth decay by limiting their consumption of sugars and starches. Instead, choose healthy foods that will help their mouth and body develop.
Drink Fluorinated Water: Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter.” Whenever possible, it is best to have them drink tap water, which contains fluoride, instead of bottled water.
Visit the Dentist: Before their first birthday, your child should see their dentist for the first time for a cleaning and checkup. With regular care, your dentist can detect areas of weakened enamel sooner to decrease the risk for a cavity with early intervention. In addition, they offer many preventive treatments, like fluoride varnishes and dental sealants to further combat tooth decay.
Children’s Dentist Near Me
With the right foundation at home and with a children’s dentist, you can help to encourage a lifetime of dental health. Foster a healthy beautiful smile with the right oral hygiene habits.
About Newton Street Dental
Newton Street Dental is committed to creating generations of healthy smiles. In support of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we offer the preventive care necessary to prevent tooth decay. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.