Pediatric Oral Health Tips
By: Blaise Breton
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that tooth decay has become one of the most common chronic infectious diseases among U.S. children. This malady, which begins early in the child's life, is known to be preventable. According to a study, 28% of the children in the 2-5 years age bracket have already shown tooth decay in their primary or baby teeth. At age 11, 50% of the children have tooth decay. By age 19, 68% of the adolescents are already experiencing it. Statistics have shown that children belonging to low-income families have twice as much untreated decay than children in higher-income families. Problems associated with tooth decay are pain, dysfunction, underweight, and poor appearance. These usually result in reducing the chances of success of the child in the educational environment.
A healthy smile is a good indication of a happy child. Oral health experts agree that creating healthy smiles begins in infancy. CDC experts have promoted a set of pediatric oral health tips that if followed will significantly prevent tooth decay in any child and save the child from suffering embarrassment.
Pediatric Oral Health Tips
Start early. When the first tooth appears, start with wiping to clean it every day with a clean, damp cloth. With more teeth coming out, switch to a small, soft toothbrush. When the child reaches 2 years old you can begin using toothpase with fluoride and if your doctor recommends it you can use toothpaste with fluoride even earlier. For children under the age of 6 it is not advisable to use flouride mouth rinse unless the doctor or dentist recommends it.
Always consult with your child's doctor or dentist about your child's specific fluoride needs. At age 2, most children get the right amount of fluoride to help prevent cavities thru the water they drink that usually contains fluoride and brush their teeth two times daily with a very small amount of toothpaste with fluoride. When the composition of the drinking water doest not have enough fluoride parents of children older than 6 months should get advise for the need of a fluoride supplement.
Everyone agrees that fluoride is an effective element for the fight against cavities. But for 6 years old and younger children, taking in too much fluoride can cause white spots to appear in the child's permanent health. This can always be remedied if you just allow your child to use only a small amount of toothpaste, the size of a pea, and ask the child to spit out and not to swallow the toothpase and rinse well after brushing.
Always supervise your child. Until such time that the child is able to correctly use his/her own toothbrush you should brush your child's teeth twice a day. Still continue to have a watchful eye to ensure that your child is correctly brushing and using only proper amounts of toothpaste.
As a parent be a good role model to your child by practicing good oral health care habits. And schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings.
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