The month of February is National Children’s Dental Health month – a month to recognize the importance of oral health for children. Established by the American Dental Association (ADA), this is a great opportunity for parents, teachers and caregivers to promote healthy habits that can help make a difference in children’s lives.
For 2022, the campaign will focus on “Sealants Make Sense.”
Tooth decay is a common chronic condition among kids in the United States. In fact, 1 in 5 school aged children have at least one untreated decayed tooth. At your next dental visit, you can ask your dental provider if your child is a good candidate to have dental sealants placed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sealants as an effective strategy to prevent tooth decay among children. Dental sealants are a clear plastic material applied to the pits and fissures of the chewing surfaces of teeth This is where most tooth decay occurs in children. Sealants can prevent tooth decay by creating a barrier between the teeth and decay-causing bacteria. Sealants are very effective and prevents the need for expensive fillings.
For resources, activities and guides brought to you by the ADA, click here.
Childhood Tooth Decay
When it comes to young children, many parents unintentionally fall short with their oral hygiene simply because they aren’t aware of current recommendations. With tooth decay in youngsters on the rise, children’s dental habits are more important than ever. According to the CDC, 42% of children two to 11 have had dental cavities in their primary teeth. If tooth decay is left untreated, it can result in pain, infection or tooth loss.
Children’s Dental Visits
As a reminder, the Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months of their first tooth coming in. And unless instructed otherwise by your child’s dentist, a check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems.
Oral Hygiene for Children
Children should brush twice a day, and floss daily. Sometimes it can be a struggle to get young children to brush their teeth. Here are some tips that can help reach the recommended two-minute brushing time, twice a day:
– Let them pick out their toothbrush and rinse cup
– Set a timer and make it a game
– Make a tooth brushing chart and reward them with stickers
– Play their favorite song and brush until it’s time to stop
Need to find a dentist for your child? We can help. Click here.