National Children's Dental Month

February is National Children’s Dental Month. An overwhelming 92% of U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have dental decay and cavities, and nearly all of them can be chalked up to poor dental habits. The American Dental Association (ADA) stresses the importance of developing good habits at a young age, before it’s too late. Here are a few things parents can do.

Make A Game Out Of It

Even the most well-behaved children won’t look forward to something that they have to do. Don’t make brushing and flossing a chore. Challenge kids to brush their teeth for an entire song, and make the music something fun and light-hearted that they’ll enjoy listening to. For added incentive, they can compete with siblings and friends — or even you (their parents!). There are also several free apps from the ADA and toothpaste companies with games children can play while flossing or brushing their teeth. Local dentists and oral sedation dentists agree: the price of a fun, electric toothbrush shaped like a Disney princess, animal, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is worth it, especially if it inspires kids to brush regularly for months to come.

Visit Pediatric Dentists For Protective Sealants Or Varnishes

Dental cavities among children are a real problem, and sometimes brushing and flossing every day just isn’t enough. (To give you an idea, 60 to 90% of children all over the world have untreated cavities.) Supplement brushing and flossing with a tooth-friendly diet (i.e. one that is relatively low in sugar), and start dentist searches when kids are still young. Once you find a dentist for your child, ask whether they perform preventative procedures for kids. Most family dentists will offer sealants and/or fluoride varnishes. Both procedures involve coating the teeth with a thin material, either resin or fluoride, to combat tooth decay. What’s more, “A child who receives sealants is 72% less likely to receive fillings over the next three years,” according to The Statesman Journal.

Three million U.S. adults have dental implants — and many end up having to replace teeth owing to cavities, dental decay, and a lifetime of negligent dental care. Start children off on the right track by encouraging daily brushing and flossing. As for the dentist search, start young; it’s never too early to start inquiring about a dentist for your child.

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