Let’s face it, parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There’s so much to learn about your child’s development. While you focus on creating healthy eating habits or a steady sleep schedule, don’t forget about their smile. Their teeth are invaluable to their oral health and development. Here are 5 facts from your dentist for children’s dentistry in Marble Falls that all parents need to know.
1. Cavities are the Most Common Childhood Disease
The biggest threat to your child’s smile is tooth decay. It’s even 20 times more common than asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 42% of children between the ages of 2 to 11 will have at least one cavity. Thankfully, you can help safeguard your child’s enamel by introducing the proper oral hygiene habits from a young age and encouraging a healthy diet.
2. Cavities Can Be Prevented
Although cavities are common, tooth decay can be prevented. Besides brushing, flossing, and regular care from a dentist, fluoride is equally important to ward off cavities. Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” because it strengthens the enamel and can reverse the early stages of decay. Your children’s dentist can protect their teeth with a fluoride treatment during routine appointments.
3. Candy Isn’t the Only Cause of Cavities
Candy is well-known for causing cavities, but it isn’t the only culprit of tooth decay. Any sugars or starches can erode the enamel, including cookies, crackers, and bread. It’s best to skip the sugars and starches. Instead, encourage your child to eat low-fat dairy products and fresh vegetables.
4. Don’t Skip Semi-Annual Appointments
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children see their dentist for the first time before they turn 1-year-old. While this might seem young, early dental care is crucial for a lifelong commitment to their oral health. It also allows their dentist to monitor their oral development, allowing them to quickly intervene if an issue arises, like a cavity. Your child will build a trusted relationship with their dentist over the years to promote stress-free appointments.
5. Develop an Oral Hygiene Routine Early
Get your child into an oral hygiene routine even before their first baby tooth erupts. Use a soft cloth to wipe their gums at least twice a day. As their baby teeth erupt, introduce morning and nightly brushing using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Around the age of 6, their teeth will begin to move closer together. As the spaces close, it’s time to begin flossing.
Nurture a Healthy Smile
You can promote a healthy, beautiful smile with the right habits at home and regular dental care. If you have any questions about your child’s oral health, don’t hesitate to contact their dentist.
About Dr. Greg Ritchie
Dr. Ritchie earned his dental degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center and has undergone advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute. With over 18 years of experience, he providers personalized services for each patient, including children. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.