February 22, 2022
If you haven’t heard yet, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and helps set good dental habits as your child grows.
Our team of experts at Wehrkamp Dentistry located in Brandon, South Dakota are here to help you grow knowledge of how to best prepare your little ones for strong, healthy teeth! Let’s get started!
Keeping Your Child’s Smile Clean
Encourage your child to have a regular oral routine. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time and flossing once a day to ensure the teeth and gums are remaining healthy. Parents, did you know that you should replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months or less? Over time, bacteria and germs will build up and the bristles will be worn down. Worn out bristles tend to be more abrasive on your child’s gums and are harder to get in those hard to get spaces.
Healthy Diet = Healthy Teeth
The foods your child chooses and how often they eat them can affect not only their general health, but the health of their teeth and gums too. If your child consumes too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, they could be at risk for tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth, which contributes to tooth decay and other oral health problems. Plaque bacteria uses sugar from juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks to make acid that attacks your child’s enamel, which ultimately forms cavities. Encourage your child to drink lots of water as it has many benefits: strengthens their teeth, washes away any bacteria or excess food, and fights against dry mouth. For good dental health, be sure your child eats a healthy diet and find healthier alternatives to sip on.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your child’s teeth. Sealants are essentially “raincoats” for your child’s teeth. They are a thin plastic material that applies to the chewing surfaces, which helps protect teeth from plaque & acid attacks. Once a sealant is intact, the sealed surface will be protected from decay. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.
Plan Your Child’s Regular Appointments
A common question parents ask is, “How soon should I take my child to the dentist?” According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists, it’s recommended that children go in for their first oral health checkup within 6 months of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. Although it may seem early, this first visit is essential to ensure your child doesn’t have any signs of gum or tooth decay and that their teeth are erupting and developing properly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that children visit their dentist every six months to ensure that they are keeping their mouth as clean as possible!
If you’d like to discuss your child’s oral health or are ready to make an appointment, call, text, or book online today. We’d love to care for your child’s smile!
The doctors at Wehrkamp Dentistry welcome new patients of all ages! To learn more, or to schedule your child’s next appointment, contact us!
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