Every year the American Dental Association likes to take the month of February to not only call attention to gum disease but also to children’s dental health. The theme for this year’s celebration of good dental health for young patients is Sugar Wars, and we invite you to help your youngsters wage war on the destructive force of sugar with us!
Edgewood Dental Care is a place you can bring your whole family for quality dentistry, and that includes your children as well. The dental care needs that children have are significantly different from that of adults. While the basics remain the same there are a lot of other things to watch out for, which is what we’re going to talk about today.
Baby Teeth: They’re Important!
With sugar being the focus of this year’s children’s dental health month it only makes sense to talk about what sugar does to your teeth. While you might think that sugar itself causes tooth decay the truth is that your oral bacteria is responsible for it. Oral bacteria metabolizes sugar into acids that soften and eventually break away your teeth’s enamel. That’s how cavities begin, and once they’ve started they only get worse!
A lot of parents think that their child’s baby teeth are less important to preserve than their permanent adult set, but that isn’t true at all. Baby teeth are an essential part of the development of adult teeth, guiding them into the proper position as they come in. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely you can end up with permanent teeth that erupt at bad angles, crowd other teeth, and completely destroy a straight smile that could have just come in naturally.
Protecting your child’s baby teeth is a fundamental part of their oral care puzzle – you simply can’t afford to ignore that first set of teeth. Not only is it financially devastating later on, but it can be socially devastating for your child as well.
Waging War On Sugar: How To Do It
It can be hard enough to limit your own sugar consumption, and it’s even harder to do it for a child. If there’s one thing that children love more than anything else it’s definitely candy and sweets. If you want your child to have a healthy smile from their toddler years into adulthood it’s important to teach them how to properly treat their relationship to sugar.
First off, make sure your child knows that sugar is a treat, not something they can just eat non-stop. Sugar consumption should be limited to occasional pieces of candy or other sweets and they should be taught that it’s how they stay healthy.
It’s also essential to teach your child good oral care habits from a nearly age. That includes not only brushing and flossing, but also regular dental appointments at our Edgewood office. Countless studies have shown that children who are taught the importance of dental care early on are far more likely to continue seeing the dentist once they’re independent. Don’t put off those early dental visits – that’s exactly how bad habits form!
As for brushing and flossing, you should start teaching your child how to practice good habits as soon as they can hold a toothbrush. You should be brushing for them before they’re able while also showing them what you’re doing and explaining why it’s so important.
Turning Oral Hygiene Into Fun
It’s much easier to motivate your children to have healthy smiles if you can make the brushing and dental visit processes fun. Dentistry? Fun? We know it might sound crazy, but to a young child it’s easy to make a good impression from an early age.
- Let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Having ownership over the process can make them feel more accountable to do it.
- Brush with them – children learn a lot from watching parents do things.
- Reward them for consistent brushing (just not with candy!).
- Bring them to your appointments before they need to see us. It can help make our office a familiar, welcoming place where they won’t feel scared.
We’re Always Here To Help
Healthy mouths from an early age aren’t just a priority for us this month: we care about you and your family’s oral health every day of the year. If you want to maintain good oral health it’s essential to make an appointment today!
You can reach Edgewood Dental Care by calling us at 859-474-7830 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!