December 5, 2019
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: nearly half of all children aged 6-11 and more than half of all children aged 12-19 in the U.S. have cavities. This epidemic can cost thousands of dollars to treat annually and is completely preventable. You just have to implement the correct habits at home. Luckily, your pediatric dentist in Midland is here with five tips to help you do just that.
1. Take Your Child to See Their Dentist by Age One
According to the American Dental Association, your little one should see their dentist for a checkup by the time they’re a year old. Ideally, you should take them in when you see that their first tooth has started to erupt. At this appointment, the dentist will examine your child’s mouth and make sure everything looks healthy. They can also advise you on oral health care habits to implement at home.
2. Brush Together
Kids love nothing more than copying Mommy and Daddy. If they see how important brushing and flossing are to you, they’ll naturally want to do the same thing. Make sure you show them the proper techniques, and brush for two minutes, twice a day.
3. It’s Not How Much, but How Often
When it comes to developing cavities, it’s not how much sugar your child eats that matters, but how long that sugar is permitted to remain on the teeth. That means that if your child sips on apple juice all day, they’re much more likely to get a cavity than if they drank it all in one sitting. Stick to designated mealtimes and teach your child to only drink water in between meals. Limit snacks to no more than two or three times daily.
4. Watch Out for Toothaches
Children don’t often voice their dental pain out loud, so learn to watch for the signs. Your son or daughter might only chew on one side of their mouth, or wince when eating. If you notice these symptoms, ask your child if they’re in pain.
5. Don’t Postpone Your Child’s Appointment
It might be tempting, especially if your child is uncooperative or has special needs, to avoid going to the dentist altogether because you’re worried that they won’t behave. There’s no need to stress about this. In addition to dental school, pediatric dentists undergo several more years of schooling, where they learn to deal specifically with children and those with special needs. Your pediatric dentist specializes in handling children, so you shouldn’t worry.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Youngblood is a pediatric dentist in Midland, TX who earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School in 2002. His professional memberships include the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, affiliate of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Permian Basin Dental Society, and the East Texas Dental Society. For more oral health tips for your child, you can contact his practice, Midland Kid’s Dentist, at (432) 520-5437.
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