At W Dental Group we are passionate about teaching our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene and overall dental health. This is especially true for our young patients. Every February, in honor of National Children’s Dental Health month, we make it a point to go out in the community and teach children about taking care of their teeth.
Last month Dr. Eisenrich and Jasmin visited Pinnacle Kid’s Academy and A Place For Kids Christian Learning Center to do just that.
It’s also just as important to us that their parents know about taking care of their child’s teeth. Knowing the basics about brushing two minutes twice a day and going to the dentist twice a year are a great start. Teaching your child healthy habits is one of the best things you can do for them as a parent.
The earlier your child starts seeing a dentist on a regular basis, the better. We recommend, as does the American Dental Association, that children go to see the dentist within 6 months of getting their first tooth. Generally speaking that’s about from 12-18 months old. Visiting a dentist at 1 year old helps to detect early signs of decay and cavities in baby teeth.
Yes, baby teeth get cavities too, and they matter just as much as permanent teeth do; if not more so since they can affect the development of permanent teeth and bone structure. Regular preventative treatment like cleanings every six months, fluoride treatment and dental sealants can significantly reduce the risk for decay and oral disease, which affects an estimated 2.5 million children nationwide. Early prevention of oral disease can also reduce the risk for dental and medical health problems later in life that can be painful, expensive and not just limited to the mouth.
Did you know that the Surgeon General estimated 51 million hours of school are missed each year due to dental symptoms and illness. And, the pain and suffering due to untreated oral disease can lead to problems with eating, speaking and learning. But, not only does it affect your child’s schooling, oral disease (specifically gum disease), has been linked to damage elsewhere in the body.
Recent studies point to associations between oral infections of the gums to serious medical conditions later in life. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even preterm low-weight births have all been linked to gum disease. In fact, the signs and symptoms of as many as 120 medical conditions can first be detected by an examination of the mouth, throat and neck which your dentist can perform. Which of course means that if found early, a condition can be treated earlier.
Your child’s diet also has a big impact on the health of their mouth as well as the rest of their body. Did you know that the state of your child’s mouth is a big indicator of the health of the rest of their body? When a child has a high level of sugary foods and drinks in their diet or is not getting the right kind of nutrition it shows in their mouth. Teaching your child healthy eating habits is another way help reduce their risk for oral disease as well as keeping their body healthy.
For information, resources and fun activities to teach your child about the importance of good oral health, visit mouthhealthy.org and mouthhealthykids.org.