Because developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month each February. Now in its 63rd year, this month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. Parents and teachers can help kids celebrate and learn more about the importance of a healthy smile. The ADA offers free downloadable information, kid-friendly oral health worksheets and games on MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website. Click on the For Kids tab on the left side of the page for a variety of age-appropriate activities, games and videos and presentations. There are also teaching guides that adults can use at home, in the classroom or in other community-based settings.
It’s never too early to get children in the habit of good oral care. Of course, it’s up to parents to take the “first steps.” Finding new ways to model good dental habits and practice them with your kids is key. The sooner kids begin to take charge of their own teeth, the happier and healthier they (and you) will be. And the payoffs over a lifetime are immeasurable. Don’t Worry-You’re Not Alone If you think it’s a challenge to teach your kids good oral care, you’re in good company. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. And studies show that almost 50% of kids between six and eight have had at least one cavity.1 These are just a couple of reasons why it’s so important to help kids understand right from the start that proper dental habits are a smart idea. To read the entire article visit OralB.com.
Having your kids brush their teeth before they go to bed each night helps them learn good oral hygiene practices. And while twice-daily toothbrushing is good for developing teeth, it always enough to stop bad breath from occurring. Bad breath isn’t always solely an oral health issue, there can be other causes that need a different solution. Here are five surprising causes of bad breath in children and how to stop them. Sinus Infection Have any of your kids complained about a sore throat or stuffy nose lately? It might be a sinus infection. Sinus issues cause fluid to collect in the nasal passages and throat, making your child’s throat the perfect place for bacteria to gather. The result? Stinky breath that can’t be cured with toothbrushing and mouthwash alone. If you suspect a sinus infection (potential sore throat, burning nasal passages and post nasal drip), call your doctor for a visit and see if antibiotics will be prescribed. Foreign Objects It may not be your first thought, but your child’s bad breath could be the result of something stuck in her nasal passages. Kids are curious, and their nostrils are just the right size for inserting small items such as beads, beans, toy accessories and food. Pediatrician Dr. William Sears explains that when an object gets lodged in a child’s nasal passages it can create a nasty smell. If you suspect this is what is causing your child’s bad breath, you’ll need a doctor to help check your child’s nasal passages and remove the object. To read the entire article written by Jae Curtis , please visit Colgate.com
Parents are a child’s first teacher in life and play a significant role in maintaining his or her overall health. Providing oral health education to mothers and families is essential to teaching children healthy habits and preventing early childhood tooth decay, according to an article published in the May/June 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). With all of the challenges that new parents face, they may not think much about the link between their child’s oral health and overall health. In fact, an understanding of oral hygiene can help parents to prevent tooth decayóthe single most common chronic childhood disease in Americaóand to create a lifetime of healthy habits for their child. “Ideally, the oral health education for any family will begin with prenatal education and the establishment of a dental home by the time the child is 12 to 18 months of age,” says Tegwyn Brickhouse, DDS, author of the study. “Many people don’t realize that the oral health of the mother affects both the infant’s future oral health and the child’s overall health. In fact, some studies show that periodontal disease has been linked to preterm labor. That’s why pregnant women should be evaluated for cavities, poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, loose teeth and diet.” After the child is born, families should become familiar with their child’s dental and oral health milestones, which will be determined by discussion with the family dentist or a pediatric dentist. Children should have their first dental visit at age 1 or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. A dentist will be able to discuss when parents can expect to see a child’s first tooth and the best technique for brushing his or her new teeth. Diet is another factor that affects a child’s oral health. Frequent and long-term exposure to liquids that contain sugars commonly results in tooth decay. In addition to eliminating sugary drinks altogether from a child’s diet, parents can adopt other habits to prevent tooth decay due to beverage consumption. “Parents should avoid giving their children milk, formula, juice or soda at naptime or nighttime,” says Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. “The sugars will linger on their teeth and gums for a prolonged period of time, promoting decay.” Parents are responsible for their child’s oral hygiene practices and are advised to meet with a general dentist to determine the best way to establish and maintain their child’s oral health. A general dentist also can provide families with oral health literature that is designed to educate both the parent and child. This education has multiple benefits; as Dr. Brickhouse notes, “Healthy teeth in early childhood can provide a positive self-image and improve the child’s quality of life.” To read the entire article please visit KnowYourTeeth.com
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child’s teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future. To read the entire article, visit: KnowYourTeeth.com JONES SMILES Sedation ~ Cosmetic ~ Family Dentistry 7330 Spout Springs Road, Suite C15 Flowery Branch, GA 30542 (770) 965-3048
Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build up the stockpile of sweets for the winter. Being one of the most fun times of the year for families, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. The American Dental Association, America’s premier source of oral health information, has prepared a list of 10 suggestions to help parents maintain good oral health for their children around the Halloween holiday and throughout the year.
Consume Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Besides how often you snack, the length of time food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to prolonged acid attack, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.