5 Facts About Children’s Dental Health Parents Should Know About

boy with yellow shirt holding toothbrush
Parenthood is indeed beautiful. One minute, you’re holding your newborn, and the next, before you even know it, they are all-grown-up and ready to conquer the world. As a parent, you’ll see your child grow right in front of your eyes. And we understand that you’d love nothing more than to see your child lead a healthy and happy life with a bright, picture-perfect smile on their face. We are parents ourselves. And we want the same thing. As your child matures, you’ll see their mouth developing right in front of your eyes. And while it’s important to look after your child’s oral health, it’s equally crucial to take them to a pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, or their first birthday arrives – whichever comes first. If you are a new parent, you may obviously have gazillions of questions related to your child’s oral health. And as pediatric dentists, our responsibility is to help parents clear the confusion, while also delivering the best-in-class pediatric dentistry services 😀 That’s the reason we’ve put together a few facts about children’s dental health parents should know about. Without further ado, let’s dive straight into them.

5 Facts About Children’s Dental Health Parents Should Know About

The following are five children’s oral health facts parents should be familiar with:
  • Taking Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist
  • Dental Care Begins During Infancy
  • It’s a Must to Focus on Preventive Care
  • Cavities are Preventable
  • Deal with Prolonged Thumb sucking

Taking Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist

Unfortunately, tooth decay is one of the most common health conditions among children. Cavities are 5x more common in kids than childhood asthma and 20x more than diabetes. The good news is cavities are preventable, and so are other common dental problems. By taking your child to a pediatric dentist early, you can not only treat any existing dental problems but also make sure that you are catching developing conditions early. Establishing a dental home can help children and their families build a lifetime of good oral health. As stated by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), parents should take their kids to a pediatric dentist or schedule a virtual consultation within six months of the first tooth erupting or by the time they turn 1 year old. If you see a tooth, we advise you to schedule a virtual consultation with us. At the same time, four of the big benefits of taking your child to a pediatric dentist include:
  • Pediatric Dentists are Child Experts
  • Pediatric Dentists are Well-Equipped with the Right Pediatric Tools
  • Preventive Care is as Important as Treating Existing Dental Issues
  • Pediatric Dentists Share Valuable Insights with Parents on Children’s Oral Care
Read our 4 Reasons Parents Should Take Their Children to a Pediatric Dentistto learn more.

Dental Care Begins During Infancy

As important as taking your child to a pediatric dentist is, dental care begins during infancy. As a parent, it is essential to look after your child’s oral health by cleaning their mouth after every snack or feeding. Way before their first tooth erupts, you should use an infant toothbrush or a soft washcloth to wipe their gums twice a day to remove debris and bacteria. There are many preventive measures that parents should take into consideration to preserve their child’s oral health. Feel free to reach out to one of our specialists – we’d love nothing more than to help you understand how you can preserve your child’s oral health, helping them lead a healthy life.

Focus on Preventive Care

Yes – candies and sweets can hurt your child’s dental health. But they are not the only culprits. The first thing you should do is limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks between meals. Next, finding the right balance between sugar consumption and looking after your child’s teeth is crucial. As a parent, you should be laser-focused on establishing a routine of oral hygiene and teaching your child proper toothbrushing techniques. Good oral health can help prevent cavities efficiently. A balanced diet coupled with fluoridated toothpaste can strengthen tooth enamel and help improve your kid’s overall health. It’s important to note that untreated decay often runs in the family. When parents kiss their kids on the mouth or even share utensils, this can spread bacteria the bacteria responsible for causing cavities, Streptococcus mutans. Parents should take note of this and focus on restricting these practices.

Cavities are Preventable

The good news is that cavities are preventable. And while we mentioned this earlier, we wanted to create a dedicated section for this as tooth decay is very common among kids. Cavities can be prevented by:
  • Teaching good oral health habits – Toothbrushing twice a day (at least) in the morning and evening for two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing regularly can help prevent cavities in children
  • Regular use of fluoride – Fluoride strengthens the enamel, the outer layer of teeth, making it more resistant for acid to penetrate and cause decay
  • Limiting or restricting some food items – Limiting sugary food and drinks between meals can help prevent cavities. When consumed, it’s important to ensure that kids rinse their mouth and/or brush their teeth

Deal with Prolonged Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural instinct for infants. It helps them feel secure. However, prolonged non-nutritive sucking behaviors like thumb sucking and pacifier use can misalign teeth and can cause improper development of bones in the face and mouth. Dr. Mark Dawoud on the subject of prolonged thumb sucking stated,“Prolonged thumb sucking can cause some serious problems related to teeth alignment and mouth growth. Also, it may cause problems in the roof of the mouth.” It is recommended to wean children off such habits no later than three years of age. It’s important to never punish kids and keep things positive in order to encourage them to want to quit on their own.

Connect with Our Pediatric Specialists Today!

Not only is it important to teach children good oral health habits, but it’s equally important to plan routine dental checkups at least every six months – based on the pediatric dentist’s recommendations. As soon as you reach out to us, you become family. At Front Row Pediatric Dentistry, we deliver first-class treatment, helping kids preserve their smiles and lead happy and healthy lives. We embrace working with parents as well as promoting communication, while also keeping kids’ safety, care, and comfort our highest priority. We love nothing more than seeing that bright smile on your child’s face. Schedule an appointment with us today:  
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