Tooth Decay in younger children has risen to epidemic proportions but it can be prevented. According to USA Today,
Tooth decay is largely preventable, but it remains one of the most common diseases of childhood — five times as common as asthma, and seven times as common as hay fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC says 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in baby teeth; 21% of those ages 6 to 11 have had cavities in permanent teeth.
It’s not difficult to get your child to practice good dental hygiene, it just takes time and repetition. Children should begin early to develop good oral habits. Here is a list of time guidelines to follow:
Birth to 2 years
• Before teeth erupt, clean baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time.
• Once teeth erupt, brush them gently with a soft child’s size toothbrush and a ‘smear’ of fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
• At bedtime, give nothing but water. Any sugary liquids or carbohydrates (milk, formula, fruit juice) expose teeth to bacterial acid all night long
• Take a child to see a dental provider by his or her first birthday.
2 to 5 years
• Assist or brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night with a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste. They don’t have the ability to brush effectively alone. They should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
• Schedule dental visits every six months for routine cleanings
• Begin flossing a child’s teeth when any two teeth are touching
• Limit the amount of juice you give a child to less than 6 oz. per day.
• Parents should supervise their children’s brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old
• Don’t forget to floss their teeth once teeth are touching
• Chewing gum with XYLITOL, a non-sugar naturally occurring substance, to stimulate saliva flow helps clean the mouth (Make sure to ask the teacher first)
• Avoid carbonated beverages, which can erode enamel on teeth; sport drinks and juice pouches keep acid levels high and are also bad for teeth.
Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
It is good for your child to feel comfortable with their dentist and make the experience one that they can look forward to. Contact our office today to set up an appointment for your child to meet Dr Brogdon and our staff. It’s never too early to begin practicing good dental habits.