April 17, 2019
Can you guess the number one chronic disease among young children? Here’s a hint: it’s not asthma and it’s not diabetes. In fact, tooth decay or childhood caries is five times more common than asthma and 20 times more common than diabetes. You can help your children avoid tooth decay (cavities) by instilling good oral hygiene habits that include daily brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to a family dentist in Odessa.
Brush and Floss Twice a Day
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “My child’s baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, so if we miss a day or two of brushing that’s not so bad.” Brushing a toddler’s teeth twice a day—once in the morning and then again before bed—is essential to maintaining oral health, strong teeth, and a happy smile.
Primary teeth play an important role in a young child’s life. They allow them to eat a healthy diet, learn to speak clearly and enunciate various sounds and smile with confidence. Moreover, baby teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth that will begin arriving before you know it!
Oral Health Care for Young Children
Up until the time your son or daughter is about seven years old, you should be in charge of brushing their teeth. After then, they can begin to brush with your supervision to ensure they clean back molars that can be hard to reach. Teach children to use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. A good brushing should last for at least two minutes.
Once they have mastered brushing, you can begin to show your kids how to floss. A string of floss can be difficult for little hands to manage, so try using floss picks. Flossing is the only way to remove bits of food and plaque that can get struck between teeth, so make sure your children floss once a day, preferably before going to sleep.
Care for a Growing Smile
As children grow into the teen years, their basic oral health needs remain the same. They need to brush and floss daily, and they need to see the dentist in Odessa. Between their busy school and activity schedules, as well as a maturing sense of independence, they may get a little lax when it comes to daily oral hygiene. A parent’s job is to offer a gentle reminder to clean their teeth and to put checkups on the calendar. When they come for one of their regularly scheduled dental checkups, the dentist will evaluate teeth alignment. If necessary, an orthodontic referral will be given.
If one of your children is due for a professional dental cleaning or exam, call today to schedule a dentist appointment. Those smiles are too precious at every age to ignore.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Steve W. Cobb is a family dentist in Odessa. He and his staff offer a wide range of general, restorative and cosmetic treatments for children of all ages. Call the office today to schedule an appointment.
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