A Parental Guide to Improving Children’s Oral Health This NCDHM

This National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) Take an Oath for Your Child’s Oral Health

February 2017 is National Children’s Dental Health Month and it brings together thousands of dental professionals, healthcare practitioners and dedicated educators to raise awareness about children’s oral health and the benefits of proper dental care. This year’s NCDHM campaign will promote the slogan “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” to children and their teachers, parents, and caregivers. The American Dental Association in collaboration with the ADA foundation will undertake a month-long awareness program and use versatile publicity resources and fun activity sheets to raise awareness at various events. Be a part of this initiative and educate your child on oral health. The time that you invest in their oral care today will pay lifelong dividends in the form of healthy gums and cavity-free teeth.

How Optimal Oral Care Translates To a Happy and Healthy Child

Parents lay the foundation of healthy teeth in their children by establishing a proper oral hygiene routine. For this, parents should be equipped with all the important information they need about their children’s oral health. Use the following 5 tips to protect your child’s teeth and gums from decay and cavities:

  1. Make sure that your child brushes his/her teeth twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste that efficiently removes plaque and prevents cavity. Make sure your child does not swallow the toothpaste.
  2. Flossing daily will remove plaque from under the gum line and in between the teeth. This will prevent the accumulated plaque from turning into tartar and your child won’t have to undergo a professional cleaning session.
  3. Feed your children a well-balanced diet that does not include starchy, sweet, and sugary foods.
  4. Use fluoridated drinking water and dental products that contain fluoride.
  5. Make sure your child’s toothbrush has soft and rounded bristles. Replace the brush every four months.

Dental health for Children is just as important as their overall health and well-being. Daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits will reduce the incidence of cavities, decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Only parents can introduce, inculcate and reinforce healthy oral habits in children as they grow. Lead by example and help your child understand the importance of brushing and flossing for an improved quality of life. Start with your Children’s first dental visit at the earliest and prevent little problems from becoming dental abscesses and emergency room visits.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth & Gums from Decay

Decrease the amount of sweet juices and sugary foods from your child’s diet as they damage the teeth’s enamel. Immediately visit the dentist if your child experiences sudden bouts of throbbing pain when chewing hot or cold foods. Never leave a cavity untreated because it can cause severe pain and serious oral infections which can later invite early teeth extractions and expensive restorative treatments.

Key Points to Consider for your Children’s Dental Care

  • Tooth decay occurs when bacteria produce acids while breaking down sweet and sugary foods and drinks. If these acids are not washed away, they can damage the tooth’s enamel.
  •  Certain medicines have high sugar content so it is important to clean your child’s teeth after a dose of sweet liquid medicines.
  • The best times to brush your child’s teeth are in the morning and before they go to bed.
  • Give your child a glass of water after every meal to make sure all the sweet and sugary substances are washed away.
  • You can inculcate the habit of flossing in your children from the age of 4.
  • Limit the intake of cookies, candies, potato chips, pretzels, soft drinks, and fruit juices.
  • In case your child chips or knocks out a tooth, contact your dentist immediately.

This National Children’s Dental Health Month, take an oath – to inculcate an oral hygiene routine in your children at an early age, so that their teeth remain healthy and happy even in old age.