By Brenda, Registered Dental Hygienist
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Certainly something to be aware of, since early childhood tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. To stay healthy, children need help from parents. What can you do to protect your little ones?
- Educate them. Help your children appreciate what a marvel teeth really are! Enamel in teeth is the hardest substance in your body. Teeth can take a lot of pressure and temperature. They can chew everything from very hard foods like candy, nuts, and crushed ice, to soft bread, cookies, and cooked rice. And they can withstand everything from hot soup to cold ice cream! These amazing teeth can last a long time if we take good care of them.
- Bring them to the dentist. The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends by their first tooth or first birthday. Prepare them by explaining what to expect or showing them a video of what will take place.
- Protect their teeth. Once their first tooth comes in, use the appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste and floss to reach places a soft-bristled toothbrush can’t. Supervise your child to make sure they’re doing a thorough job, and help them get to those hard-to-reach areas.
- Pay attention to diet and nutrition. Crunchy snacks like carrots and apples help “clean the teeth” because of the texture. Sugary snacks like cookies or gummy candy promote acid attacks which can cause cavities. Fluoridated tap water can help prevent cavities, too.