Halloween is the favorite time of year for many children because the day is loaded with yummy treats and candies. Children love the sugary surprises of the day, but the consumption of sugars can cause the development of cavities if they do not practice proper oral hygiene. As the holiday approaches, use the day as an opportunity to educate your children about the importance of oral health. With the right foundation to proper oral hygiene, you will help to promote a lifetime of healthy smiles as your children remain committed to their oral health. As your children’s dentist in Newtown, PA, we have the tips you need to teach your children proper oral hygiene.
Importance of Oral Hygiene for Children
When it comes to oral care for children, many do not believe it is as important for children as it is for adults because baby teeth eventually fall out. However, baby teeth serve a vital purpose. Baby teeth promote a child’s ability to eat and speak correctly, while setting the foundation for the permanent teeth. Just as the permanent teeth require care, so do the baby teeth.
The biggest threat to a child’s oral health involves the development of cavities. It is estimated, 20 percent of children 5 to 11 years of age and 13 percent of children 12 to 19 years of age have at least one untreated cavity. Among the leading causes of cavity development involve poor oral hygiene and large consumptions of sugary and starchy foods.
As Halloween approaches, it is the ideal time to teach children the dangers of sugary foods and how they can help protect their teeth from cavities.
Proper Oral Hygiene for Children
Children must brush their teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled tooth brush and a fluoride toothpaste. Teach your children to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and clean the teeth with gentle back and forth motions. Have them pay extra attention to cavity-prone areas, such as the back molars and the inside surfaces of the teeth.
In addition to brushing, children need to floss their teeth twice a day. Using an ADA supported dental floss, show your children how to insert the floss in between two teeth and form a “C” shape around the tooth. The floss should be slid down between the teeth to the gum line and back up to the top of the tooth. This process will need to be repeated with each tooth. For young children, you may need to help them with flossing as it can be a bit challenging.
Regular Appointments with the Dentist
Your children’s oral habits at home are only half of preventive care. Your children need to see their family dentist in Newtown, PA twice a year for checkups and cleanings. With the right oral care early in life, you will help to ensure your children remain committed to their oral health throughout life.
As your family’s dentist, we want to see your children develop and maintain healthy smiles. Contact The Dentists of Newtown to schedule a semi-annual appointment.