Children and Tooth Decay – National Children’s Dental Health Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cavities and tooth decay, while often easily preventable, are the most common chronic condition among those ages 6-19. Oral care habits contribute much more to tooth decay and poor oral health than either diet or genetics. Most parents know this, yet about one third of children do not brush twice a day.
Oral care habits start early, so parents need to be sure to try to instill good habits even before children can brush and floss on their own. Good oral practices can (and should) start in infancy and be continued throughout life. A healthy mouth helps with chewing, speaking, and appearance, and increases self-esteem in children. Children should spend two full minutes twice a day brushing (one minute on the top, and one minute on the bottom).
There are videos, activities, and more that can help parents teach their children the importance of good oral care as well as provide instructions for how to accomplish good oral care so that children can keep and maintain both their primary “baby” teeth as long as they are supposed to (which is important because they hold the space for the permanent teeth to come into), as well as their permanent teeth later on.
If you would like any further information or advice, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Dawn Gayken, DDS today!