February marks National Children’s Dental Health Month. This annual celebration, sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of children’s dental health. Navigating your children’s oral health care can sometimes be confusing and even a little bit scary for both you and your child. The following are tips and tricks to help take a bite out of your child’s dental fear, encourage routine oral health practices, and help you keep you and your little ones smiling through it all.
• Our office is kid-friendly. We understand that a new experience is fun and scary so we encourage our little patient’s caretakers to stay positive about coming to see us. We help you out with this by having toys and distractions in the waiting room as well as our chairs.
• We know little wiggle worms can hold still while in a kid friendly waiting room just waiting to be explored, so we provide all our necessary forms online so that you can complete them ahead of time for your ease.
• We think ahead. Please tell us if you would rather come in with little one or have them go on their own. This way there are fewer surprises for everyone in an already unfamiliar environment.
• We’re here for you, both of you. During the appointment, we’ll do a dental exam to look for any signs of tooth decay, and check your child’s bite, gums and other parts of the mouth. We are also open to any questions you may have about how to care for your child’s teeth and gums.
• Don’t skip dental appointments. Regular visits help protect against issues that could cause pain and create a fear of the dentist. Visit the dentist once every six months, even if there’s no issue.
• The more they know the better. Children’s characters take trips to the dentist too! Find a book that features a dentist visit so help your little one understand what their own adventure could be like. Also take them along with you for your annual checkup.
• As kids realize that taking care of their teeth makes them look and feel good, they may actually start looking forward to visiting the dentist!
The following are some fun oral health facts to sink your teeth into:
•Straight up: Baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth, not only do they help kids chew and speak, they are placeholders for permanent teeth. If they come out before they should, adult teeth can come into the empty space making it hard for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.
•The rule of ones: According to the ADA, your little one’s first dentist appointment should happen right around another first, their one-year birthday or when they lose their first tooth.
•Don’t delay, stop tooth decay: Tooth decay can have consequences that go beyond discomfort and a dental visit. It can hinder your child’s quality of life, cognitive and social skills not to mention hurt their self-esteem. To prevent tooth decay we recommend, visiting us regularly, and use fluoride (rinses and toothpaste).
•I spy: Signs of tooth decay are white spots that may appear where minerals have been lost. Acid attacks, from foods or drinks containing sugar and starches, on tooth enamel cause mineral loss. If the decay continues then eventually a cavity will form.
•On a lighter note: Here are some fun facts to share with your kids to get them excited about their appointment.
o The average person has 32 teeth, one kind of tooth is called a canine, like a dog!
o Your teeth are made of enamel, and that’s the hardest substance in the body.
o Your teeth help you eat your favorite foods, and look great in pictures!
The more the merrier. Help us celebrate National Children’s Dental Health month by sharing what you’ve learned onFacebook with your friends! Call us to see if your little one’s appointment is coming up, we can’t wait to see you.