Youth is a time for development, and dental health is no exception to this rule. Even baby teeth, the twenty little friends who allow our toddlers to take their first bites of food before making room for adult teeth, are crucial in determining lifelong oral health. But don’t worry… as important as proper care may be, protecting your child is easy if several simple steps are taken.
You have probably heard of cavities before–and for good reason. Cavities are painful, expensive and lead to further complications. Consider, for example, a tooth that has a cavity progressed enough that the tooth has abscessed. In most situations, this requires for the tooth to be pulled. Although baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth, the effects can still be traumatic. Whether by abscess, playground accident, or any other way that children will regretfully discover, losing baby teeth leads to other teeth sliding over to fill the gap. In turn, adult teeth, entering a mouth with crooked teeth structure, assume a deformed pattern. Such a condition is correctable…after thousands of dollars and the months upon months of discomfort that accompany braces!
Even if the cavity doesn’t cause the tooth to abscess, the first cavity signals the start to a long, painful, and costly trek. A cavity is the climax of tooth decay; by the time a cavity has formed, tooth decay has reached an unsustainable point, which is why cavities require intervention. So get ready for more cavities: according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 25% of our nation’s children hold 80% of all cavities.
Regular cleaning and checkups are two of the three most important keys to dental health. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children brush teeth twice daily for two minutes at a time. Until the age of eight years old, parents should supervise the experience. During brushing, children should be using a soft bristle brush and fluoride based toothpaste while never swallowing the paste, as ingesting too much fluoride may cause complications. Regular checkups are crucial, as only a doctor is able to examine your child and provide the most thorough examination.
The final major factor, arguably the most important, is diet. Although approximately 90% of all foods contain some type of sugar or starch that enables bacteria in dental plaque to produce damaging acid, some foods are more corrosive than others. Few foods are more destructive than carbonated beverages, which have been proven to produce a far greater negative effect on enamel than the acids produced by general sugar. For maximum damage, sip a sugary, carbonated drink for an extended period of time. Instead of soda, drink water. We can help you and your family replace sugary beverages with water by delivering water to you directly through our home water delivery service.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we are celebrating by holding a special coloring contest. For more information on the coloring contest visit our rules page.