It is never too early to begin thinking about your child’s oral health. Children of all ages need help maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and oral health problems. Dr. Albert Caves is an experienced pediatric dentist, with many years of experience caring for the teeth and oral health of children.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease among American children. Fifty percent of first graders and 80 percent of 17 year-olds have problems with tooth decay. Tooth decay is a major health issue, because it causes children to miss school and prevents them from participating in school activities. In addition, poor oral health can affect the child’s self esteem and cause him to have social problems at school. Tooth decay is preventable. As a parent, you play an instrumental role in helping your child along the road to good oral health.
The first step to ensuring that your child has good oral hygiene is to practice good habits at home. Even infants without teeth need to have the milk residue wiped from their gums to stimulate gum growth and to prevent future problems. Toddlers need to have their teeth brushed, and older children should be brushing and flossing regularly. Check their teeth and gums regularly to make sure that they are brushing and flossing well, and to look for cavities and other signs of tooth decay.
In addition to teaching children good oral health habits, the children need to visit the dentist for a checkup every six months, starting with infants who are six months old. During their first visit, Dr. Caves will check the infant’s mouth to look for any signs of problems, such as tooth decay or mouth sores from poor latching while nursing. As your child gets older, he will begin cleaning the child’s teeth and taking x-ray images to look for signs of problems under the gums. If your child develops cavities or other oral health problems, Dr. Caves will fix the problems, as well as help your child learn how to brush and floss correctly to prevent the problems from recurring.