Establishing healthy oral habits is important in the first few years. Oral hygiene can be seen as a positive and automatic habit if it is established early and in a relaxed fashion.
According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, Pediatric Dental Disease is the number one childhood illness. Dental Disease causes pain, has been linked to many other illnesses and infections, and if left untreated, in severe cases, can cause death. The good news is that it is highly preventable. Brushing after meals, drinking tap water with fluoride, and cutting back on sugary drinks and treats will prevent most dental problems.
Despite the pain associated with Dental Disease, and the fact that it is preventable, there has been a significant rise in Pediatric Dental Disease in the past decade. Most cases are in poor families. Not only do poor children visit the dentist less than other children, they have a higher number of dental problems like cavities and disease to begin with, mainly due to poor habits early on.
What causes these poor habits? A number of factors contribute to poor juvenile dental habits, and the resulting Dental Disease. One is the idea many parents have that baby teeth are just “training teeth” or that they do not count. A second reason for the rise in Dental Disease is associated with the same factors that are leading to a rise in childhood obesity: poor diet, consisting of sugary drinks and treats.
Knowledge is the key to solving these issues and decreasing dental problems in children.
Baby teeth are not “training teeth.” Establishing the habit of brushing your baby’s gums with a rubber tooth scrubber will introduce the habit of brushing after meals. Habits die hard, both good and bad. Keep this in mind when your child is young. Even before the first tooth comes in, you should establish great habits. Do not allow baby teeth to rot with the mentality that “they are going to fall out anyway,” because the bacteria introduced to the baby teeth will also be established on the adult teeth as they come in, not to mention the pain associated with cavities in any teeth.
Food left on the teeth will produce bacteria that will begin to eat away at the enamel. Conversely, removing the food stuck to teeth and having a healthy diet prevent bacterial growth. It is a good idea to keep young children away from high sugar, acidic beverages like lemon-aid and colas for as long as possible.
Information is power when it comes to improving dental health in all children. Establish good dental habits early on to save a child’s adult teeth. Early visits to a children’s dentist office will ensure your child is not afraid of the equipment or the dentist, as well as providing you and your child information about proper tooth care.
To set up an appointment for your child, call Playtime Dental today.