February Is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Children who are taught to practice good dental hygiene during childhood are far more ready to take care of their teeth as adults. On the other side, there is also a good deal of research that indicates that poor childhood hygiene that leads to dental pain can lead to a lower quality of life, sleep issues, poorer academic performance, and appetite issues.

Here at Riverside Dental Care, we take care of people of all ages, from baby’s first checkup to senior’s progressive dental care. A consistent comment we hear from our adult patients is that they wish they knew more about how to take care of their teeth when they were younger, which is why we are excited to highlight that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

What Is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Brought to you by the American Dental Association, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month to help boost awareness of the benefits of good oral care for children. An early start to good dental hygiene can set children up for a lifetime of healthier teeth and gums.

The campaign slogan for this year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month is all about the benefits of fluoride. Specifically, the campaign slogan is, “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!”

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is known to help improve the mineralization in teeth and assist in preventing cavities. So, to help protect children’s teeth—both the baby teeth and emerging permanent teeth—doing simple things like drinking tap water containing fluoride can make a difference.

Ways You Can Protect Your Children’s Teeth

When it comes to setting up children for a lifetime of successful dental health, parents can do plenty of things to proactively protect their children’s teeth.

Dental Sealants

A helpful dental service we offer at Riverside Dental Care is dental sealants. If you haven’t heard of dental sealants, a sealant is a thin coating of dental-safe plastic to help create a barrier to help protect teeth.

This dental treatment is used to help fill in deep fissure and crevasses that can occur naturally in teeth, both on molars and front teeth. To help prevent food particles from becoming trapped—and to remove pockets for bacteria to hide—dental sealants can be applied by our dentists.

To help give you an idea of the dental sealant process, see the before, during, and after photos below.

Tooth Before Sealant

Tooth During Sealant

Tooth After Sealant

Our dentists highly recommend dental sealants, especially for children who aren’t the best at consistent oral care. Or, as Dr. Wade says, “Get those sealants to help keep sticky candies out of those deep groves!”

Biannual Cleanings

Another essential aspect of childhood dental care is going in for biannual dental cleanings. These twice-yearly dental checkups are a vital part of staying on top of your child’s oral health, as the cleaning and x-rays allow our dentists to see if there are any issues or areas that need to be watched for potential future problems.

Also, by attending regular dental cleanings, it can be easier to overcome dental anxiety in young children. We are happy to work with you to accommodate your children’s needs and will plan ways with you to help keep your kids at ease during their appointments.

Parent-Supervised Teeth Brushing & Flossing

There is no set age when your children should start brushing their teeth on their own. However, children younger than 7 years old often lack the fine-motor skills—and attention to detail—to properly brush their teeth and floss.

You can have your children start to brush their teeth as early as possible to help them learn, but parents should follow up by brushing their teeth if they are 6 years old or younger. After that age, supervised teeth brushing can help ensure your child is properly brushing and flossing.

Mouthguards & Nightguards

If your child plays in contact sports, then a custom-made mouthguard can be an excellent addition to their gear. That way, the mouthguard fits more comfortably and is less likely to slip around and not protect their teeth.

As for those kids who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep, our dentists can make a custom nightguard. Like with a custom mouthguard, your child’s teeth will be better protected, and the custom nightguard can help keep their teeth from becoming worn down.

To schedule an appointment for your children—or to bring in the whole family—feel free to contact us today! We look forward to helping you and your children have the happiest, healthiest smiles possible!

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