Parents are well aware of the fact that brushing on a regular schedule each day, consuming foods that are part of a healthy diet, and visiting a pediatric dentist are among the highest-rated methods for ensuring optimal dental health and preventing cavities among children.
Unfortunately, many dental experts are stating that parents are making many mistakes in terms of their children’s oral hygiene. Statistics indicate that a whopping 42% of all kids between the ages of 2 and 11 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth. Approximately 21% of kids aged 6 to 11 have been diagnosed with a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth.
In this brief guide, you will be introduced to the top mistakes being made that are resulting in these surprising statistics.
The Bottle in the Bed
Throughout history, parents have commonly allowed their baby to go to bed with a bottle. This action directly results in the formation of tooth decay. While it is true that a large percentage of parents believe that this action is detrimental to a child’s oral health, there are still many that allow their child to take a bottle to bed. This activity should be avoided. A baby that takes a bottle to bed will have a higher level of sugars and bacteria within their mouths. This, in turn, eats away at the enamel on the teeth and makes the gums more susceptible to irritation and infections. Each time that a baby uses a bottle, parents should wipe out the mouth with a cloth to wipe away sugars and other potentially infectious agents. The child should never be allowed to take a bottle to bed. As a child transitions into their toddler years, they should not be allowed to take a sippy cup to bed, either.
Delaying the First Dental Visit
Pediatric dentists commonly see toddlers that are two years or age or older for the very first time. Often, these children have already developed tooth decay and/or a cavity and must receive treatments. This is due to the fact that parents often delay the first dental visit until children have multiple teeth. According to professionals, when the very first tooth erupts from the gums, the child should be taken to the dentist. Then, the child should be taken at least once every six months thereafter.
Lack of Fluoride Usage
The third most common mistakes made by parents when it comes to their child’s teeth is not using fluoride. While it is true that there have been arguments throughout the years about the safety of this product, the American Dental Association now states that it is safe for babies, toddlers, children, and teens to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. This substance aids in the prevention of the development of cavities.
Let Us Help
We here at Richmond Pediatric Dentistry knows and understands the challenges that you face as a parent – especially in terms of ensuring optimal oral health for your child. We can help ensure that your child has a healthy smile today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their days. We offer a multitude of services that help set the pace for a lifetime of optimal oral hygiene and health.
Preventive treatments such as teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, and hygiene instructions are among the most productive methods for creating and maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile.