|What a cutie!|
By Diane Forrest, RN
"Sometimes when I floss, big stuff comes out, like a spaceship."
"I always brush after meals, but sometimes it's my hair."
"Fluoride gives your teeth super powers to fight cavities and zombies."
"Sometimes I forget to move the toothbrush up and down."
"Dinosaurs have really big teeth because they love to brush."
"Mommy thinks I brush all my teeth, but I just do the ones I like best."
"If I'm good, can I go to the dentist?"
"Candy canes make my breath minty so Mommy thinks I brushed my teeth."
"Never trade lunches with a kid whose Daddy's a dentist."
When I was a little girl I remember driving to the dentist. We didnt use the dentist in our town, so it was a long drive to get to his office. I don't remember much of the visit, except that he had a big cork board on his wall and there were alot of small toys tacked on the board. After my visit I was allowed to pick any toy off the wall. Many years later I took my own child to the dentist. Things had changed since the toys on the cork board. The office was filled with video games, television sets and stereo equipment. Today, taking your child is like going on a trip to Disneyland. There are slides, games, bright colors and friendly people. All of these items are used to establish a fun environment to allow children to seek dental treatment without fear of the unknown.
Your teeth develop during the second trimester. Proper dental care should begin at birth. You should wipe the baby's gums with a soft wash cloth after feeding. Never give a baby a bottle when puttig them down to sleep. This will cause a condition called bottle mouth, where the bacteria seeps into the gums and causes decay. Normally the teeth have finished erupting by age 3. It is at that age you should take the child for his first dental appointment. It is important to teach the proper techniques of brushing, flossing and rinsing at an early age so that the child will grow up with good healthy dental hygiene habits. The importance of fluoride treatments as well as sealants are also discussed to be used to prevent cavities.
A good pediatric dentist will help to ensure a healthy habit of dental care. My son went to his pediatric dentist until he turned 18. Last week I was surprised to see him, since moving to a town an hour away from here, he still comes home to see his dentist. He is still practicing good oral hygiene, and his good care of his teeth will last a lifetime.
Some good dental health tips include:
- Brush at least twice a day to remove plaque. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to cavities. Brushing can be fun for kids with these free printable tooth brushing charts.
- Floss daily. Flossing helps to remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat healthy and nutritious foods and limit the intake of sugary carbonated drinks.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
- Fluoride treatments twice a year are very beneficial in preventing tooth decay.
- Sealants can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and premolars. Sealants help to prevent tooth decay.
- Wear a mouth guard during sports. Mouth guards can greatly reduce injuries to the mouth and teeth.
February is National Children's Dental Health Month. If you have children or grandchildren, encourage them to seek proper dental care, and help to teach proper dental hygiene.