February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Yay!
Oral health is an important part of a healthy body, and good dental hygiene begins as soon as the first tooth appears. Children should see their Bedford dentist for their first dental visit before their first birthday.
Starting a child’s oral health off right helps to build a foundation for a lifetime of great dental habits down the road.
Due to a combination of factors, dentists are seeing more and more children come in with many more cavities that they used to. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, more than half of children will experience tooth decay by the age of five.
Children miss a total of 51 million hours of school each year because of oral health problems. Even though tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, it is the most common health problem seen in children, as demonstrated by the facts below.
- The number of operations to extract multiple teeth in children has gone up by one-fifth across the country in just four years!
- Nearly one-quarter of young children have untreated cavities.
- Over half of children (aged 2-8) experienced tooth decay last year alone.
- Over one-fifth of children have already have cavities in their permanent teeth.
Facts like these are why we have National Children’s Dental Health Month. Tooth decay is preventable. For every dollar spent on preventive care such as check-ups and cleanings, up to $50 is saved on restorative dental work. Early and frequent dental visits to your Bedford dentist help increase the chances of detecting minor problems before they become big and expensive problems.
Reinforcing good habits in children will also serve them well down the road, perhaps passing on their good dental hygiene habits to their children.
“Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”
National Children’s Dental Health Month was first observed with the support of the American Dental Association in 1981, and every year has brought with it a new slogan as part of the campaign to promote children’s dental health. This year’s slogan is, “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”
Good health means healthy gums and teeth. The mouth contains a lot of bacteria, and when combined with sugar and time, tooth decay, gum disease, and infections can be the result.
Even primary teeth (aka “baby teeth”) need to be well cared for. They might only be around for a few years, but they play a big role in development.
Missing teeth can disrupt the jawbone (requiring orthodontics work later), cause overbites, and impede speech development. Affected teeth can be sensitive, resulting in children avoiding healthy foods because eating is painful. Decay, if left untreated, can even cause further complications down the road.
New parents often overlook the fact that baby teeth are candidates for decay as soon as they appear – we see cavities in infants as young as six months old!
Our Children’s Teeth
Help children learn how to take care of their mouths. Ensure that they learn to take care of their teeth properly by supervising (and demonstrating) until they consistently do it right.
While you’re at it…
I’ve always believed that a great way to learn new information or skills is to teach the material to someone else. While you’re helping your children get a handle on their toothbrush, make sure that you’re doing things the right way, too!
About half of adults admit that they just use a toothbrush and toothpaste for oral care, not getting a full clean with mouthwash and floss. Many that do floss don’t do so regularly, and only about 60% of Texas adults have seen a dentist in the last year.
If you or your children are a little overdue for a dental check up, our Bedford dental practice is here to help! Give our team a call and we’ll get you in as soon as possible.
~Dr. Marea White