Children’s Oral Health
Children need to have strong healthy teeth in order to chew their food, to speak, and to have a beautiful smile that brightens up your day. Cavities are one of the most common, chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. When cavities go untreated they can cause pain and infections that could lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning.
In October 2016 the CDC reports that children with poor oral health tend to miss more school days than children that have good oral health. The CDC also reported that: 20% of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated cavity, 13% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years has at least one untreated cavity, and the children and adolescents aged from 5 to 19 years old that are of low-income families have a 25% chance of having cavities compared to the 11% chance for children and adolescents of higher-income families.
Here are some things we can do as parents and caregivers:
- Have your child visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
- Make sure your child is brushing his or her teeth at least twice a day, please keep in mind that children under the age of 6 should use a pea-sized amount of tooth paste, in addition to flossing their teeth regularly.
- Protect their teeth with fluoride. Use either fluoride toothpaste, or with an oral fluoride supplement.
- You can also speak with their dentist about dental sealant, which is put on to protect their teeth against cavities. Sealants can reduce risks of getting cavities by 81% for 2 years after they are placed on the teeth and continue to work upwards of 4 years.
- Good nutrition also plays a vital role in good oral health, with a well-balanced meal your body will get the nutrients it needs. When your body doesn’t get the proper nutrition it makes it difficult for your body to fight infections. When bacteria comes in contact with the food in your mouth there is acid that is produced and that acid attacks your teeth, that why it’s so important to always brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis.
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