Children’s Dental Health Month
February is National Children’s Dental health Month, so it’s a good time to talk about building healthy habits from an early age.
Teaching kids to properly care for their teeth will help them develop healthy habits from the start, and not struggle to brush and floss regularly, like most adults.
Dental disease is preventable, and prevention is always better than treatment.
Children’s Dental Health Month is a time to raise awareness that cavities can be prevented, and healthy habits begin at home with parents and caregivers.
Tooth decay, which we also call cavities, is the most common chronic disease in children. Kids get cavities because they’re not brushing properly. Their diets may also contain too much sugar.
What Parents Should Know
Parents should be actively involved in brushing their children’s teeth up through the age of eight years old. This means parents should be in the room with their kids, thoroughly brushing their children’s teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Start the flossing habit each night before bedtime too, as soon as your kids have two teeth that touch.
It’s good to get young children involved in brushing their teeth, but children below the age of eight are generally not able to properly brush and care for their teeth by themselves.
Our practice is focused on family dentistry. You can book a checkup and a cleaning on our website or by calling 864-520-2942. We work with your schedule to provide morning, evening, weekend and emergency appointments, and all major insurance is accepted.
South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages parents to implement mouth care routines beginning as early as infancy, before a child’s first tooth even appears. Here’s what DHEC recommends for parents:
- Begin oral care during infancy by wiping a baby’s gums and mouth with a soft cloth
- Brush a child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day for two minutes. Children under the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste, and children over three should use a pea-sized amount.
- Take their children for regular dentist visits beginning at the age of one.
- Talk to a pediatrician, family doctor, nurse or dentist about putting fluoride varnish on children’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth.
- Limit a child’s consumption of sugary snacks and drinks.
- Ask their child’s dentist about dental sealants that protect teeth from decay.