HEALTH TIPS

ORAL HEALTH FOR KIDS

Did you know that the ADA recommends that parents take their children to the dentist no later than their first birthday? Children's baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they appear, typically around the age of six months. This decay is referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. To prevent decay begin cleaning your baby's mouth within􀂱the first few days after birth, wiping the gums with a clean washcloth.

As the teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water. If your child is older than two, brush their teeth with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice. Do not allow the child to swallow the toothpaste. Children's teeth should be brushed twice per day. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily. 

BRUSHING AND FLOSSING

Brushing and flossing are the two most important things you can do to avoid cavities. Brush twice a day and floss once a day. Try to avoid sugary snacks and beverages and remember to see your dentist regularly. 

Always feed your children a healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks. Water is the best drink for your child. Tap water contains fluoride which will help protect your child's teeth. 

Incorporating these tips for your child's health will lead to a lifetime of good dental health. 

AVOID PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal, or gum, disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. Plaque can be controlled with regular brushing and flossing. The first signs of gingivitis red, swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss. Untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which is more serious and painful. Be sure to discuss your oral health habits regularly during dental visits. Your dentist will educate you on preventative measures to avoid periodontal disease.

Signs of periodontal disease

  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath (chronic)
  • Painful chewing 
  • Sensitive or loose teeth 
  • Receding gums

Should you experience these symptoms, discuss treatment options with your dentist as soon as possible.