A Beautiful Smile Starts in Childhood
Did you know that the most common childhood disease isn?t asthma, obesity diabetes or allergies? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has identified tooth decay as the number one chronic childhood condition and it is completely preventable.
Good Oral Health for Children
The foundation for a beautiful smile begins with consistent dental care at home. This includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis. The best methods of brushing and flossing for children depend a great deal on their age.
Babies can have their teeth brushed with specially designed brushes made specifically for them using fluoride free toothpaste until the age of three. Children should have their teeth brushed twice a day with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste as soon as they are able to spit out the excess and refrain from swallowing which usually happens between ages three and six.
Flossing should begin for children at about age 4. Parents can do this nightly using a stick flosser or traditional dental floss. At about age 8 children should be able to begin flossing effectively on their own.
Diet and drink choices can also play an important role in good oral health for children and adults. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, chocolate milk, and juice. Instead, offer children water with meals. After sugary snacks, fruit, and meals it is important that children get into the habit of brushing their teeth.
Choosing a Good Pediatric Dentist
About 78% of people experience the development of a cavity by the time they turn 17. Consistent dental care can help ensure that cavities are kept to a minimum and caught quickly if they do develop. It is important that children be taken to visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday at the latest. Early care can help guarantee babies grow up with a beautiful smile.
Finding a really great pediatric dentist can make a substantial difference in the experience a child has with dental care and how open they are to it in the future. The difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist is that pediatric specialist require an additional two years of training beyond that required by those who work on adults. This extra time helps prepare them for the unique issues faced when working with children of all ages.
Teaching a child proper oral hygiene and making sure they visit a pediatric dentist regularly will help lay the foundation for the beautiful smile they will enjoy for the rest of their life.