October 17, 2016
A few weeks I came across article about children’s dentistry in America. The point of the article was that we Americans still have a long way to go when it comes to taking care of our children’s teeth. While we live in the most advanced country in the world, we can still improve when it comes to dental care.
One statistic that jumped at me was that about 40 percent of children will have cavities BEFORE they start kindergarten. That’s a substantial portion of our young population. As a dentist, that concerns me. I’m worried about their dental health and worried about the association they’ll have with the dentist growing up. Ideally, we dentists love to have short, fun educational visits with your kids instead of getting out the dental drill. That way we can prevent problems and give them a positive image of the dentist.
Today, I want to you, the parents, with three tips I believe will help your child achieve better life that will last longer. Here they are:
1. Don’t skip on dental appointments. All of our patients can benefit from two dental cleanings a year. This is especially important for your children. We have a host of preventive treatments that can help keep your children free of dental decay. My goal as a dentist is to help children avoid dental issues. We recommend that children undergo treatments like fluoride treatments, which are proven to fight off harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. Most municipalities put fluoride in the drinking water, but if that does apply to your area, consider additional fluoride varnishes for your child.
2. Protect your children’s teeth with a custom mouthguard. We know that cleanings can help prevent procedures like tooth decay and gum disease. But we also have to take care of our teeth outside of the dental office from things other than dental disease. Dental trauma is a major concern for parents who have a children in sports. Dental accidents related to sports are quite frequent. Our office offers custom mouthguards that protect your teeth from dental trauma. The idea of the mouthguard is that it distributes any contact throughout the mouth instead of in one spot. We recommend a custom mouthguard, as an over-the-counter boil-and-bite mouthguard is not custom and can actually obstruct breathing.
3. Consider children’s orthodontics. Our office works with a talent orthodontist who has help hundreds of children in the Virginia Beach community. Straight teeth change the way we look, but they also improve function. Orthodontics can also help your child’s teeth and jawbone develop naturally. When you come to our office, we can help your family set up necessary orthodontic treatments. We’ll know exactly when your child needs to be seen by an orthodontist. Also, our dental hygienist can help teach children with braces how to properly clean their teeth.
Dental care is a pivotal part of our children’s oral health. Follow these dental tips and please call our office at 757- 932-6856 if it’s time to schedule your treatment.