February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month originated with the ADA. It signifies a month-long national health observance to bring together thousands of professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to get the word out on the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and others. When it comes to children’s dental health month, there are few key areas parents and caregivers can focus on to improve children’s health dramatically:
Most parents and caregivers do a great job at limiting the obvious sugars from their children’s diets. But it is the less obvious sugars that might surprise you. We often think of candy as the worst offender to our smiles, but sugar is sugar. Sugar is food in more than just candies. Breads, yogurts, cereal bars, juices, dried fruit, fruit (gummy) snacks, potato chips, and sports drinks.
Sealants are one of the easiest dental procedures Young Family Dental offers but they pack a powerful punch against tooth decay. Sealant material is painted across the cervices of molars to seal out decay. They are remarkably effective. A CDC report states that dental sealants prevent 80 percent of cavities for two years after application. Sealants also offer continued protection against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years. Sealants provide effectiveness for up to nine years, according to the CDC, before the teeth need reapplication.
Brush and Floss Regularly and Correctly
Parents should assist children with brushing their teeth until they are at least the age of six. And after age six, children will still need supervision to ensure they are brushing correctly, thoroughly, and at the right frequency (at least twice a day). Make sure you are providing your child with an ADA-approved toothbrush and toothpaste. Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months. Flossing should occur at least once a day. Young children may be able to handle floss sticks better than floss strings. Encourage children to brush their teeth for two minutes, giving each quadrant of their mouth equal time; brushing on both sides of teeth.
Eat with Intention for Teeth Health
One of the best things you can do for children’s dental health is to set them up with healthy eating habits they can carry with them throughout their lives. Beyond this, the healthier foods you give them when they are young and developing, the healthier their teeth. Teeth need ample amounts of calcium to stay strong. They need diets rich with nutrients and vitamins to keep mouth bones strong. Stock your home with foods rich in vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and protein. These are the building blocks for healthy bones and teeth. Also, a balance of meats, poultry, fish, dairy, green leafy vegetables, and fruits rich with nutrients your child needs.
Need help knowing how to balance out their diet for oral health? Here are some tools from MyPlate to help you!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that children between six months and 16 years have fluoride daily in some form.
Most tap water is fluoridated, providing your child with substantial daily fluoride. If not, talk to Young Family Dental about prescribing fluoride supplements in the form of oral drops or tablets. The amount of fluoride that is prescribed is determined by your child’s age and amount of fluoride in his drinking water.
Call for a Dental Health Consultation Today
Taking care of your oral health affects your overall health–including your heart health! Call or visit any of our five Utah dental offices in West Jordan, Riverton, American Fork, Saratoga Springs or Orem and schedule a personal consultation with one of our dentists to establish a successful home-based oral hygiene plan based on your specific needs.
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