Dental Health for Kids
Numerous studies and research on dental health for kids emphasize the importance of starting early with good dental hygiene. In fact, according to research, the most common chronic childhood disease in America is tooth decay, affecting 50 percent of first-graders and 80 percent of 17-year-olds. Early treatment prevents problems affecting a child’s health, well-being, self-image, and overall achievement.
The National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research estimates that children will miss 52 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems and about 12.5 million days of restricted activity every year from dental symptoms.
Dental Health Tips for Kids
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children practice good dental hygiene. Additionally, parents must introduce proper oral care early in a child’s life—as early as infancy. Here are some tips to help get you started.
- Clean your infant’s gums after each feeding with a water-soaked infant cloth to stimulate the gum tissue and remove food
- Teach your child about proper brushing techniques with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste
- Regular visits with their dentist to check for cavities in the primary teeth and for possible developmental problems
- Encourage your child to discuss any fears they may have about visiting the dentist, but avoid using words like “drill” or “pain”
- Ask your hygienist or dentist about sealant applications to protect your child’s teeth-chewing surfaces