Happy February! It is national children’s dental health month. This month is dedicated to help promote healthy brushing habits and fighting cavities for children. The theme poster this year to promote healthy habits is “Sugar Wars” showing kids in a spaceship with their dog go and battle cavities, sugar, and plaque build up in space. These posters are to help teachers, caregivers, and others to promote good habits of fighting off child tooth decay. Dentists suggest the following to develop healthy habits in children:
-brush two minutes twice a day
-clean between teeth by flossing daily
-eat healthy meals and limit sugar
-visit the dentist every six months with the first visit no later than their first birthday.
Typically, children will start to teeth around six months old with the four front teeth coming in first. Decay and cavities in baby teeth can carry a higher risk for decay and cavities to occur in adult teeth. Discuss with your child’s pediatric dentist the steps you should take to try to stop sucking habits like pacifiers and thumb-sucking as soon as possible this can mess up the alignment of growing teeth in children. If your child still has a pacifier, make sure not to put a child’s pacifier or utensils in your mouth to clean them. This can transfer bacteria in cavities from your mouth to your child’s. Allowing your child to sleep with a bottle full of milk or juice can cause a lot of sugar and bacteria in the child’s mouth and cause erosion and decay around the teeth after pooling there all night repeatedly. It is important to start flossing as soon as a child’s teeth begin to touch to remove plaque buildup. It is recommended to watch your children’s brushing habits up until they are eight years old to ensure they are properly brushing. For access to the “Sugar Wars” posters to promote children’s dental health click on this link: http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/national-childrens-dental-health-month/
If you have any questions, concerns, or want to know ways to get involved with national children’s dental health month contact our office here in Medford, Oregon.