Maintaining your child’s oral health from an early age is so important for their growth and development. In fact, healthy baby teeth can help with your child’s speech development, chewing mechanisms, and even the health of the permanent teeth that are hidden beneath their gums. In honor of February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’ve shared some of the most important facts parents should know to maintain their child’s oral health.
1. Cavities are extremely common in children.
You may be surprised to learn that tooth decay is actually the most common health issue found in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Childhood tooth decay is about five times more common than childhood asthma and even twenty times more common than diabetes.
2. A large percentage of dental injuries in children occur during sports activities.
Does your child love playing little league sports? If so, make sure to get them fitted for a mouth guard! About 10-39% of dental injuries, such as a chipped or broken tooth, actually occur during athletic activities.
3. Oral health issues can significantly impact school time.
In the United States, around a whopping 51 million school hours are lost each year as a result of oral health issues. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your child’s oral health in good condition so they can continue to stay in school! Be sure to schedule regular dentist appointments at least once every six months to maintain their oral health and treat any underlying issues before they can flare up.
4. Children’s cavities often go widely untreated.
It is quite shocking how many cavities are left untreated in children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19% of children have between 2-19 untreated cavities. Worse yet, 42% of kids between the ages of two and 11 have cavities in their primary teeth. This is all the more reason to make regular visits to the dentist and encourage good dental hygiene habits from the get go.
5. You can begin taking care of your child’s oral health right away!
Even before your child has teeth, you can wipe away bacteria and debris from their gums using a clean moist washcloth. As soon as their teeth appear, you can begin using a toothbrush to clean their teeth.
6. Be sure to schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment by their first birthday!
Whether your child’s teeth have begun to grow in or not, they can have their first dentist appointment by their first birthday! This will allow your dentist to check in on their oral health as well as the development of their baby teeth. This is a great way to start your child on a path to a lifetime of good oral health.
Are you ready to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment? Call Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to schedule their visit!