Here at Bellevue Family Dentistry, we place an emphasis on adults and kids oral health alike. In light of the American Dental Association's National Children's Dental Health Month in February, let us examine the benefits of oral health in kids.
Why is Children's Oral Health So Important?
- In the United States, oral disease (ie. tooth decay, gum infections) causes kids to miss more an astounding 50+ million hours of school, and also their parents to miss more than 25 million hours of work per year.
- If cavities and oral health infections are left untreated, the pain and infection may result in problems with eating, learning, speaking, and concentration.
- Early premature tooth loss may result in reduced self esteem and reduced confidence.
- Children and adolescents with oral health problems, compared to those without oral health issues, are unfortunately more likely to have problems at school, and less likely to complete their homework. Those with oral health problems are also more likely to feel interior, shy, unhappy, uncomfortable, sad, and depressed.
- When children's oral health issues are treated and the kids are not experiencing pain or discomfort, studies show they are able to learn better and their attendance at school improves.
America's Tooth Fairy
America's Tooth Fairy has great resources and information on programs on community-based educational, treatment, and preventive services to children of all income levels. In the year 2012, volunteers from America's Tooth Fairy were able to provide children with over 200,000+ dental cleanings, dental sealants, fluoride treatments, screenings, and oral health education.
What Can I do Help my Kids at Home?
The best care begins at home! Starting at the age of 6 months when kids first baby/primary tooth erupts, start brushing their teeth right away with a soft toothbrush. Use a pea-sized amount of nonfluoridated toothpaste if your child is unable to spit out yet. Brush your kids teeth twice a day (morning and before going to bed) and start flossing as soon as you see two or more teeth adjacent to one another. Use an over the counter anti-cavity fluoride rinse (ie. ACT) to help decrease the risk of cavities. Bring your kids to the dentist twice a year for regular checkups, cleanings, and fluoride treatments.
Happy brushing and flossing everyone!
From your gentle family dentist in Bellevue,
Dr. Peter Chien