From the offices of Dr. Patrick Jordan and Dr. Stan Snyder
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. A month dedicated to the education and celebration of good oral health for our children. Let us take this opportunity to play a game of Fact vs Fiction when it comes to our kids’ dental health.
Baby Teeth are not important because they are going to fall out anyway.
FICTION. Many parents assume that children do not need to receive any dental care because their baby teeth are simply going to fall out anyway. However, baby teeth serve several important purposes. First and foremost, baby teeth are an important part of childhood development and allow children to transition to solid foods. Teeth play a vital role in developing speech. Baby teeth also create and maintain space so permanent teeth can come in as children age. While baby teeth are temporary, they are still extremely important and should be monitored and treated by a dentist. In addition, teaching children the importance of dental hygiene early on will help set them up for success and establish healthy routines.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition affecting children in the US.
FACT. Forget colds, the flu or other conditions. Tooth decay or cavities, is the most common chronic condition of childhood in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “about 1 of 5 or 20 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.” This can cause major problems later in life and lead to frequent dental visits.
Tooth decay is preventable.
FACT. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Children who brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste will have less tooth decay. Making healthy food and drink choices contribute to lower tooth decay. Seeing your dentist regularly can help in the prevention of tooth decay. Your dentist can apply a fluoride varnish, which is a high concentration fluoride coating that is painted on teeth. Dental sealants, which are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, can prevent tooth decay also.
Candy is the main culprit in poor dental health.
FICTION. While candy can absolutely be a factor in the cause of tooth decay, it cannot take all the blame. Many of our children’s favorite drinks are loaded with sugar….even so-called healthy drinks. Try to help your child get into good habits by choosing water to drink as often as possible. When they do indulge in soda and juice, it is best to brush afterward.
There are thousands of languages spoken around the world, but a smile speaks them all.
FACT. No explanation needed.