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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Feb. 28, 2020

Children’s Dental Health Month

By Semaj Capers 11th Dental Squadron

dental graphic
Brought to the public by the ADA, National Children’s Dental Health Month is held every February as a month-long national health observance that brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. (courtesy graphic)
dental graphic
11th Dental Squadron
Brought to the public by the ADA, National Children’s Dental Health Month is held every February as a month-long national health observance that brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. (courtesy graphic)
Photo By: Delano Scott
VIRIN: 200228-F-WH816-1011

Did you know that good oral hygiene starts before your child has teeth?  

 

Many people think that they have to wait until the child is a certain age or has a specific amount of teeth. This is not the case. It’s imperative that children start good oral hygiene routine as soon as possible. When your baby gets their first tooth, it is important to start brushing. Good oral health habits include brushing for two minutes, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet.

 

When teaching your child, be sure the child is using a soft-bristle children’s tooth brush as well as age appropriate paste. It is recommended to use training toothpaste (toothpaste without fluoride) until your child is 3 or can spit effectivity on their own. This will minimize the likelihood of fluorosis.

 

Make sure they are brushing all surfaces of teeth with the proper amounts of toothpaste: a rice size for children under age 3 and pea-size for those over the age of 3. It is also recommended to supervise children brushing their teeth until they are approximately 8 years old.

 

When it comes to a maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to reduce the amount of snacks and sugary drinks. Constant snacking has been linked to chronic cavities. After snacking, it is recommended to have the child drink water which will help reduce the amount of residual food debris. It is also recommended juice be limited and when given to mix with water. Also be mindful to not give any drinks with the exception of water before bed. If the baby is breastfed, it is recommended to wipe their mouth with a wet baby cloth (before and after teeth are present) to help reduce the likelihood of childhood cavities.

 

Parents, it’s your job to set the example and to help to establish a good routine and attitude when it comes to oral health and dental visits. When you show enthusiasm, your kids will show enthusiasm too.  Doing so will also reduce or even eliminate future decay/cavities and future dental visits.