Helpful Hints for Children’s Dental Health
More than 40 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 are affected by tooth decay of their primary teeth each year. Although rates of tooth decay have fallen over the last decade, rates remain high among the youngest segment of the population. This makes exposing children to good dental care habits at an early age integral to lifelong oral health. You can begin teaching your child about proper dental care before their first tooth has even emerged. While you may know the basics of good oral hygiene to instill in your children, the American Dental Association (ADA) and your family dentistry experts can offer helpful hints.
National Children’s Dental Health Month
In 1941, a program dedicated to the awareness of children’s dental health began in Akron, Ohio as a one-day event. In 1981, the American Dental Association (ADA) began sponsorship of the event and expanded it into a month-long campaign, now known as National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) that helps dental professionals, teachers, and other community leaders promote oral health awareness for children. Although February is the month of focus for the campaign, events and programs are held throughout the year to help children understand the importance of proper dental care.
One such program is Give Kids a Smile Day, which began in 2003 by the ADA as a way for dentists and other dental care professionals to give their time and services to underprivileged kids in the community. The program reaches more than 450,000 children each year, thanks to more than 15,000 events across the country and the help of 40,000 volunteers. These programs can help you teach your children about the importance of proper dental care and make it a fun and exciting lesson all year long.
Instilling Good Dental Care Habits in Kids
You can begin teaching the elements of dental care to your children even before their first tooth has emerged. Basic dental care begins with familiarizing your child with the sensations and routine of daily dental care. For babies, you may wipe their gums with a soft cloth or gauze after feeding. As your child grows, wrap your finger in a soft cloth and emulate brushing your child’s gums after meals and before bed. When your child has four or more teeth, you can help them pick out their first toothbrush and preferred toothpaste, teaching them the proper habits of brushing. When your child has two teeth that have emerged side by side, you can also familiarize him or her with the habit of daily flossing by simply running a floss pick or stick gently between the two teeth.
To keep your children interested and excited about their dental care routine, make them a part of the experience. Allow your child to pick his or her first toothbrush, making certain they choose a toothbrush that is soft-bristled and specially designed for children. Most children look forward to brushing when their toothbrush is their favorite color or adorned with their favorite character. Even the toothpaste can be fun—many brands offer flavors kids love and will enhance the brushing experience.
And, of course, don’t forget to schedule routine visits to your family dentist in St. Clair Shores and make those not only a habit, but an appreciated part of regular dental care.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.