National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month

happy little girl brushing her teethFebruary holds a special place in our hearts at Out of This World Dentistry.

Why?

This month is the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month of February, dentists nationwide reach out to children in their communities to educate and stress the importance of proper pediatric dental care.

Effects of Poor Pediatric Dental Care

Pediatric tooth decay is the largest, chronic disease in children. The sad part is that it is preventable.

Pediatric tooth decay causes many adverse side-effects including the possibility of affecting a child’s dental development.

A significant percentage of children go without dental care, causing children to have crooked teeth, decayed teeth and pain. The pain and discomfort from preventable dental issues can lead to poor school performance and attendance.

Proper dental care is important in the early childhood years because it is during this time their baby teeth fall out and make way for their permanent teeth to come in.

While many parents think that because the baby teeth will fall out, it isn’t necessary to care for them.

This is a big mistake.

If a child isn’t seen by a pediatric dentist on a regular basis and at-home dental hygiene isn’t adequately practiced, the baby teeth (or primary teeth) can become decayed. If the decay becomes severe, it can lead to an abscessed baby tooth and a diseased permanent tooth underneath.

Causes of Pediatric Tooth Decay

The biggest causes of tooth decay in children include poor diets comprised of sugar and improper dental care.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended. Parents should avoid giving their child children processed foods, candy, fruit juice, foods that are sticky, foods high in starch and soda.

It is surprising how many children do not get adequate dental care.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring their infant to the dentist for their first exam by the time they are one years old. A child’s first dental cleaning should be done as soon as all a child’s primary teeth have erupted.

Pediatric dental care begins before any teeth erupt. Parents are encouraged to care for their baby’s dental health by gently rubbing a wet washcloth over the gums.

Parents who neglect these recommendations increase their child’s risk of getting tooth decay.

With children, it can be a challenge to adequately care for their teeth and gums. Small children may be uncooperative and disobedient in following proper dental hygiene. Sometimes, parents just don’t know how to teach their children proper dental hygiene.

During Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month, our dentists, as well as others across the country will teach kids and their families proper dental care practices including how to properly brush teeth, how often and how long to brush teeth, how to properly floss and when to change toothbrushes.

It is important for parents to teach their children proper dental hygiene habits early. It is equally important to bring your child in for regular, six-month dental cleanings and exams.

To schedule an appointment for your family, contact us at one of our convenient Out of This World Dentistry locations today.

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