Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Children’s Dental Health: Dos and Don’ts February 28, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:29 pm

Children’s Dental Health Month, February, is drawing to a close, but there’s still time to review some dental health tips for children. Almost half of all children have cavities by the time they enter kindergarten, and although tooth decay is second only to the common cold on the list of most prevalent health problems, it is preventable.  Here are some tips on what to do and what NOT to do to help your kids stay clear of cavities and other oral health issues:
•    DO start your child’s brushing and flossing routine early. The earlier they pick up good oral health habits, the less likely they will be to pick up bad ones. Start cleaning their teeth for them twice a day while they are still infants, starting as soon as the first teeth come in. Use an infant toothbrush or a clean, soft cloth.  Introduce toothpaste around age 2 or 3, whenever they are able to spit it out (that’s important). Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.  Help them brush through age 7 or 8.
•    DO floss your child’s teeth as soon as two of them touch, usually around age 2 1/2. Around age 4, many children should be okay to do some flossing on their own. They may like using the brightly colored flossers made for kids.
•    DO visit the dentist by age 1, or within about 6 months of the first tooth eruption. Most baby teeth are comply in by age 2 1/2 and a small percentage of babies are even born with teeth already in their little mouths!
•    DON’T allow frequent exposure to sugary foods and drinks. It’s best to limit them to meal times, and the worst is to let them drink sugary juice or soda, or snack on candy and carbs, frequently throughout the day. The sugar feeds bacteria which produce acids that cause tooth decay. Keeping teeth clean and free of the fuel the bacteria use to make enamel-eroding acid is wise. Make sure your child goes to bed with no beverage other than water by the bedside.
•    DON’T permit pacifier use in children much older than age 2. This can result in dental problems such as overbite and contribute to related problems like poor nutrition and even language development delays.
•    DO keep the good habits going! Children begin to lose baby teeth around age 6 and most usually have all their permanent teeth by age 13. Consistency throughout childhood has the best chance of successfully forming lifelong habits that support ideal dental health.
•    DO set a good example! Children learn by observation, so taking great care of your own teeth shows them how it’s done.
We love our patients of all ages at Mall of Georgia Dentistry, and we love little healthy smiles to grow into big healthy smiles!

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