February is Children's Dental Health month!
Children's Dental Health month first started as a one day observance in the 1940s and became a month long celebration in the 1980s. Many of you with children or grandchildren will see kids bringing home flyers about children's dental health or coloring sheets with teeth, toothbrushes, and floss. Ask them some questions about what they may have learned about teeth and oral hygiene.
Children's Dental Health month is important because it reminds us that good dental health and hygiene is important from the moment that first tooth pops into the mouth. These baby teeth are important teeth and need to be maintained. By brushing a baby or toddler's teeth for them from early on, we are modeling good hygiene practices and showing them how to take care of their teeth.
It is important also that children have their first dental visit around age one. Are we going to clean their teeth at age one? No. We will do an exam to see how the teeth are erupting, make sure there are no problems with the teeth and give valuable advice about home care, diet and fluoride. After this visit the dentist will determine whether the child needs another exam in 6 or 12 months. This will get the child used to coming to the dental office in a positive and fun way. It makes appointments in the future a little less intimidating. We also reward kids with fun little prizes and a sugar free sucker at the end of their visit.
Did you also know that children need help brushing until they are about 10 years old? Children lack the dexterity (and patience) to adequately remove all of the plaque from their teeth. Does this mean you have to brush FOR your kids? No. Let your child brush and then you can go through with the toothbrush to make sure they didn't miss anything, particularly the harder to reach spots like along the gum line or those teeth hiding out in back. We also have timers here in the office that we will gladly give you to make sure that kids are brushing for the recommended two minutes.
If you have any questions regarding your child's dental health, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call or email the office.