***image1***Taking care of a child’s teeth is one of the most important things parents can do for their youngsters.
Below are 10 things parents can do to help their children grow up with healthy teeth and gums:
10. Institute good eating habits – Every time you eat or drink, the environment in your mouth becomes slightly more acidic. This can lead to demineralization of the enamel on teeth, giving cavities a foothold. Try to have dessert immediately following a meal, so as to reduce this problem.
9. Ensure children drink water – Many children start drinking soft drinks at a remarkably young age, and consumption sometimes increases through young adulthood.
8. Supervise children’s oral hygiene – Many children don’t have the manual dexterity to properly clean their teeth and gums until about 11 years old. Even if people don’t brush their children’s teeth directly, they do need to be supervised. Check the job they are doing, and point out areas they are missing.
7. Make sure children receive fluoride – fluoride is a mineral which, when used in small amounts on a routine basis, helps to prevent tooth decay. It encourages “remineralization,” a strengthening of weak areas on the teeth. These spots are the beginning of cavity formation. Fluoride occurs naturally in water and in many different foods, as well as in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, varnish and supplements. Fluoride is effective when combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. Water off base in the KMC is not fluoridated. People can consult their pediatric dentist or pediatrician to ensure they receive an adequate amount of fluoride.
6. Make sure children see a dentist at least once a year. Dentists can help parents with oral hygiene instruction, topical fluoride application and any questions they may have about taking care of their child’s oral health. The current recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists is that children see a dentist as early as 1 year old or by the eruption of the first tooth.
5. Brush your child’s teeth
4. BRUSH your child’s teeth
3. BRUSH YOUR child’s teeth
2. BRUSH YOUR CHILD’S teeth
1. BRUSH YOUR CHILD’S TEETH – Above all else, this remains the best way to remove plaque and maintain your child’s oral health.
People can call the 435th Dental Squadron, Pediatric Dentistry Element at 479-2192 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, if they have any questions about their child’s oral health or scheduling dental appointments.
(Courtesy of the 435th Dental Squadron)