Parents always want the best for the kids, but many parents can undervalue baby teeth because they know that they will eventually fall out! But our children’s dental health begins as soon as the first tooth erupts.
Fact #1: According to the CDC, 1 in 5 children (20%) aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth, and 1 in 7 kids (13%) aged 12 to 19 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Fact #2: Children with poor oral health miss more school and get lower grades than those who have healthy teeth and gums.
Fact #3: Cavities are preventable. Outside of abnormalities in development of the structure of teeth (which are rare), cavities are totally preventable through proper oral care.
These things prevent cavities:
- Regular brushing
- Fluoride varnish (applied topically to the teeth in the dental office)
- Fluoridated tap water
Fact #4: Yes, you can ask your dentist for a fluoride varnish as soon as your little has his/her first tooth. Start brushing twice a day with a cloth and water.
Older kids benefit from rice grain-sized toothpaste (age 7 and below) and then a pea-sized amount from age 7 and up.
Dental sealants are also very helpful. These close the deep hard to reach grooves in the biting surfaces of teeth. These act as a shield between teeth enamel and cavity-causing bacteria, especially for kiddie molars that might be hard to keep clean for kids still learning to brush.
Fact #5: And yes, fluoridated water helps so much. Swallowed fluoride is absorbed along with other nutrients in food into the bloodstream, where it helps your child grow strong bones and stronger teeth.
Fact #6. Healthy baby teeth lead to healthy adult teeth. Untreated cavities can affect the permanent teeth waiting below the gumline. Baby teeth also guide the permanent teeth into place. Early loss of baby teeth due to cavities can lead to major space loss problems that can create difficult orthodontic treatment in the future.
Fact #7. You can go to the dentist during pregnancy because you are more prone to gum problems, tooth decay and possibly exposure to stomach acids if morning sickness is a problem. Your dental hygiene routine is more important than ever to prevent cavities and potential infections associated with oral health changes during pregnancy. Mothers to be should check with their OB/GYN to obtain guidance on the appropriate time to see the dentist during pregnancy and for any restrictions related to individual pregnancies.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.