The sad truth is, nobody really likes going to the dentist. It’s a place that many people often associate with discomfort, fear, and even pain. This fear, among many other reasons, can lead to people avoiding the dentist office at all costs, resulting in poor dental health. Unfortunately, it’s not only adults that are steering clear of the dentist, as studies show that one in five children in the United States do not receive the dental care they need.
Even at a young age, dental care for young children is vital to prevent dental diseases now, and even into the future. While they might not seem like a huge concern, dental cavities are twenty times more common than diabetes, and five times more common than childhood asthma. Preventing and treating tooth decay is something that should be just as important as every other aspect of maintaining your child’s health. The good news is that maintaining your child’s dental health is relatively easy, and can be achieved with just a few simple steps.
Regular Dentist Office Visits and Home Dental Care:
There is a common misconception that the health of baby teeth has no connection to the health of adult teeth, but this is definitely not the case. Think of baby teeth as placeholders for adult teeth, and if the baby teeth are unhealthy and decaying, the adult teeth will most likely have significant damage when they come in around age six. This is why your child should receive pediatric dental care right away. In fact, you should start taking your child to see the dentist regularly beginning as soon as their first birthday. Doing so can help make sure your child’s oral hygiene is where it needs to be, and that any cavities or dental diseases are caught, and treated, right away.
However, making sure your child’s teeth are healthy doesn’t only begin and end with the dentist. Around four months of age, you will begin to see your child’s teeth peeking through the gums. A clean washcloth is a perfect way to begin cleaning and maintaining your child’s oral hygiene. After a little while, you can work up to a small toothbrush to make sure no plaque builds up on their new teeth. Establishing good brushing and hygiene habits at a young age can also ensure your child continues these habits as they get older.
The Power Of Fluoride:
Fluoride is a powerful tool in the fight to keep your child’s teeth disease-free. You can find fluoride in many sources, including your water supply and even some toothpastes. Particularly effective, fluoride varnish can be applied to your child’s teeth while at the dentist. Your child’s baby teeth will thank you, as it could prevent up to 33% of decay in the primary teeth.
Speak to your child’s dentist to learn more about the amazing benefits of fluoride. They will also be able to tell you if your child can use fluoride toothpaste, as it can be unsafe for children under the age of two.
Sealing Out Dental Diseases:
Dental sealants are a safe, plastic coating that covers the biting surfaces of premolars and molars. The sealants work by preventing food or plaque build-up, significantly reducing the likelihood of cavities developing in that tooth. Sealants have been shown to reduce decay by 81%, even after two years of placement. Studies have also proven that sealants can still have positive benefits on permanent molars even after four years of placement. Dental sealants are a great way to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy not only for now, but for years to come.
Are you prepared to take care of your child’s oral hygiene? By taking these steps you could help them prevent countless dental diseases in the future.