Did you know that cavities and other dental health problems are one of the most common reasons behind school absences among children in the U.S.?
Data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over 52% of children between six and eight years old have had cavities. Additionally, around one in five kids between five and 11 years old have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Although dental cavities are a prevalent issue, the good news is that they are also easily preventable. The key lies in teaching your children the right way to brush and floss their teeth, coupled with reinforcing the importance of good oral hygiene habits.
Choosing the right toothbrush is a crucial first step. Make sure your child has a toothbrush that is comfortable, easy for them to use, and the right size. A small brush with soft bristles and a large handle for easy grip generally works best for children.
Brushing teeth isn’t complicated. Start teaching your kids with these steps:
With children, you can make tooth brushing a fun activity by using a timer or a brushing song to help ensure they brush for at least two minutes. Join your kids in brushing to demonstrate the proper technique and assist them until they master it on their own.
Flossing plays a vital role in maintaining dental hygiene as it removes food particles lodged between teeth where a toothbrush cannot easily reach. Introducing children to flossing can begin as soon as two of their teeth touch each other, usually around ages two to six.
Here’s how to help teach your child flossing:
Teach your child to do this with every single tooth — not just the front teeth — making sure to floss both sides of each tooth. More importantly, remember to use fresh sections of floss as you progress to avoid reinsertion of the food particles.
The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overstated, particularly for children. Establishing these habits early on can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to more serious health problems later in life. Moreover, it also helps instill a lifelong commitment to good oral hygiene.
Aside from brushing and flossing, remember that good oral hygiene also involves having a balanced diet and regular dental care.
Regular dental check-ups are important as these can help spot potential issues early and ensure professional cleaning. It is generally recommended to take your child to a pediatric dentist every six months. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to handle children’s dental issues and temperament and can better provide preventive dental care or treat problems at an early stage.
A consistent routine of proper dental care can go a long way in protecting your child’s teeth from cavities. If you are looking for a board-certified and trusted pediatric dentist in the Bay Area, look no further than Bay Area Kids Dentist.
With four convenient locations across the Bay Area, our team of experienced and caring pediatric dentists can readily accommodate and provide top-notch dental care for your child.
Contact us today to book an appointment at your nearest clinic.