Oral Health for Children

Healthy TeethGiving our children the best chance at a healthy life is high on our list of being a good parent. We watch and guide our children by making sure they do their homework, watch when crossing the road, and get their vaccinations to protect from illness. As much as we try as parents, there are things that happen to our children that surprise us around every corner. It’s a tough honor.

There is a disease in our child’s world that causes 51 million lost school hours a year. This deadly disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, respiratory problems, dementia, and poor childbirth. It can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, and emergency surgery. This children’s disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness in the United States, and 17 million children go without care to treat this disease every year. The good news is this disease is completely preventable.

Brushing TeethTooth decay is considered a disease caused by bacteria, “germs”, that can destroy teeth, give pain, swelling of the lips, cheeks or throat, and even put kids in the hospital. These germs of the mouth focus on destroying teeth. It does not matter how old you are, if you are male or female, where you live, or where you were born.

So what can a parent do to help prevent their children from germs that give pain, start infections, cost money, and embarrass their smiles? Below are things you can do today to help your child start good habits that last a lifetime:

  1. Make an appointment with the dentist for your children and yourself every 6 months of the year. Children need good role models. If they see you taking care of your teeth, they know it is important. At Axess Pointe, our dental team sees patients as young as 6 months old. Does this surprise you? Babies start getting teeth at 6 months old on average, and yes I have seen tooth decay starting on children that cannot even walk yet. Schedule a dental appointment today: call 330-724-5471.
  2. Make sure you and your children brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day. Anything less means you are missing brushing meals off of your teeth. Food pieces in the teeth are what feed nasty mouth germs that cause tooth decay. These food pieces in the mouth will cause bad breath, even in children. Brush twice.
  3. Make brushing a must. Parents often say, “I cannot get my child to brush his/her teeth. She/he cries.” Just like other things in life that must be done, like putting a child in their car seat when in the car, a child must have their teeth brushed. Period. Over time they will get used to the routine. Sing songs to help make brushing fun.
  4. Help your child brush their teeth until second grade. Allowing young children to brush their teeth is fine, but parents should always rebrush to make sure teeth were cleaned correctly. Younger children do not have the hand movements needed to reach all tooth surfaces in all locations of the mouth. Help them.
  5. Make brushing teeth the last stop before going to bed. Any chance of food or drinks staying in the mouth overnight is a huge risk for tooth decay. It is such a high risk and common problem it is called early childhood caries, also known in the past as baby bottle caries. When this condition is serious enough young children are placed in a hospital, put to sleep under general anesthesia and dental specialists try to rebuild baby teeth. It is hard on your child and yourself when you know your child has to go through the hospital experience. Brush before bed.
  6. Avoid sodas and sugary juices. These drinks are not nutritious and do not provide anything for your child. They are fake drinks. They are made of chemicals, and acids to make the taste buds feel good, but nothing else. They are liquid candy. They are not needed in a healthy diet for your child. Do not have them in the house, or even start giving them to your children and they won’t be a problem.

Compare:

6 year old healthy teethHealthy 6 year old child’s mouth     6 year old unhealthy teethUnhealthy 6 year old child’s mouth due to teeth destroyed by decay

Source: www.google.com | statistical information provided by www.nchof.org for this article