May 27, 2021
If you’re honest with yourself, you have to admit that there are many situations where you’re making up parenting as you go. Unfortunately, raising a child doesn’t come with a manual, and it can be challenging to sift through all the advice available. However, there are some important facts about children’s dental health you should know and understand so that you can help your child stay healthy as they grow from infancy through adulthood.
Cavities Are the Most Common Childhood Disease.
Unfortunately, tooth decay in children is very common. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 42 percent of children ages 2 through 11 years old have at least one cavity in their baby teeth. Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and 20 times more common than childhood diabetes, which are the next leading chronic diseases for kids.
However widespread cavities are among children, it doesn’t mean that they are inevitable. You can prevent cavities, but it requires effort on your child’s part and on yours as their parent. You may have to help them brush and floss their teeth every day while they’re young and remind them as they grow. The payoff of having a healthy smile is well worth it.
Cavities Are Caused by More Than Just Candy.
Although candy contains a lot of sugar, it is not the only food responsible for cavities. Sugary drinks, like juice, soda, or even sports drinks, contribute to tooth decay because they encourage the bacteria in the mouth that create eroding acids. Other foods that can put your child’s teeth at risk include starchy foods like crackers or cookies as well as sticky foods like fruit snacks or dried fruit. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your child’s diet.
Dental Care Needs to Start Early.
Although it may be tempting to ignore your child’s baby teeth, oral health is important even at an early stage in life. The baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, but tooth decay in primary teeth can spread to the permanent ones and cause damage before they even get a chance to erupt. It is easier to start healthy dental habits (brushing and flossing daily and regular checkups with the pediatric dentist every six months) while they are young than to learn the hard way when they’re older.
Your Dental Health Matters.
As a parent, you have an obviously huge influence on your child. They learn important life skills by watching you and develop habits they see you doing. When they see you brush and floss your teeth every day, they will be more likely to do it too. Plus, did you know that bacteria from your mouth can be transferred into theirs? Whether you’re giving good-night kisses or blowing on their food, if you have poor oral health, you could be passing it on to them.
Ultimately, you may not know exactly how you’re going to handle all parenting situations, you can feel more confident that caring for your child’s smile is the right thing to do!
About the Practice
The team at Midland Kid’s Dentist strives to provide positive dental experiences for young patients every day. Dr. Thomas Youngblood has been practicing for nearly 20 years now, and Dr. Weston Jones is a board-certified pediatric dentist. Although their backgrounds are different, they both are passionate about helping children and their parents learn healthy dental habits that will serve them for life. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us, you can contact us through our website or call 432-520-5437.
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