February has been designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month, and the goal of dentists around the country is for parents to place a greater emphasis on their children’s dental care. That’s because it’s the best way to prevent serious oral health issues. If you’re unsure what habits need to be highlighted, though, don’t worry. Your dentist in Dublin offers 5 helpful tips to guide you!
The Dangers Facing Your Child
The main threat to your child’s oral health is bacteria growth. The organisms are always present in the mouth, but when food is eaten, they scurry to the area where there are any leftovers. As they feed on them, caustic substances are released that can eventually bore holes (cavities) into the protective enamel (the hard, outer surface of the teeth).
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the leading health challenge for children is cavity development. If not addressed, these tiny holes can lead to even more serious complications like gum disease, tooth loss and failed health in other parts of the body.
By taking preventive measures, though, these setbacks can be avoided.
5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
When it comes to treating oral health issues, there is a tried and true method that works best for them all – prevention. As a rule of thumb, more effort should always be placed in the maintenance of excellent dental health instead of exhausting energy and resources to restore wellness.
Tip #1 – Encourage Proper Oral Care
To stop bacteria before they can launch an attack on your child’s teeth and gums, it’s important for him or her to brush and floss. The two processes work in tandem, as brushing removes the bulk of the debris. The flexible floss, then, is able to maneuver into the tight spaces between the teeth to get the stubborn plaque and particles that could otherwise work their way beneath the gum line.
Tip #2 – Emphasize Frequency
In addition to performing excellent oral hygiene, it’s key that your child be consistent in his or her efforts. Because bacteria are so resilient, it’s not enough to just clean the teeth once a day. At a minimum, oral hygiene sessions should be performed in the morning and at night.
Tip #3 – Limit Sugar Intake
The most preferred food of bacteria is sugar. Thus, if you want to limit their growth, it’s best to monitor your little one’s consumption of such things as snack foods, desserts, candy, juices and soda.
Tip #4 – Encourage Water Consumption
Drinking water serves as a formidable defense against bacteria growth because it helps to flush away some of the remaining debris after a meal. By contributing to maintaining adequate moisture, it also makes it harder for bacteria to survive because they prefer a warm, dry environment.
Tip #5 – Maintain Regular Dental Visits
There’s no secret that your dentist is your main ally in your quest to improve your child’s oral health. Thus, you should be sure to take him or her in for a visit every six months.
The care received will aid in preventing tooth decay, gum disease and other threats to your child’s dental wellness. Your proactive efforts will also leave you with the peace-of-mind of knowing that your little one has a healthy future ahead!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has maintained an ongoing commitment to provide patients of all ages with the absolute best in dental care so they can lead a happy and productive life. Dr. Buck provides preventive care at Distinctive Smiles, and he can be reached for more information through his website.