As most parents know, getting your child to listen to you isn’t always an easy task, and neither is asking them to take care of their teeth and oral hygiene! As difficult as it is to get your kids to perform these tasks, it is vital to make sure your children start their oral care routine while they are young. To that end, your trusted pediatric dentist, Dr. Patterson, prepared a useful guide touching on the importance of good oral hygiene.
Regrettably, lacking oral hygiene results in many dental health problems suffered by young children here in the US. As a pediatric dentistry center, we want to make sure we do our role in promoting good dental hygiene and helping young patients develop good dental care habits to prevent further complications.
Why a Pediatric Dentist Worries About Good Oral Hygiene
Here in the US, about 42% of children aged 2 to 11 have dental caries in their primary teeth. That makes tooth decay one of the most common chronic diseases in America, and this is just for young kids who don’t even have all their permanent teeth.
Dental cavities and gum disease are widespread, and these dental health complications can eventually result in severe problems. Younger kids who prematurely lose baby teeth are at an increased risk of developing orthodontic problems in their teens.
Prematurely losing primary teeth and having malaligned permanent ones can severely impact your child’s development. Learning how to speak becomes more challenging, and this also impacts a child’s overall learning ability. Missing teeth may also cause self-esteem issues, affecting your child’s social skills as they grow up.
Periodontal disease may also result in additional complications as bacterial infections spread through your child’s bloodstream to other parts of their system.
Like you can see, there are many reasons why a pediatric dentist would show some concern if they notice your child appears to have bad oral hygiene habits. But all is not lost, and the important thing is we act according to the child’s current status. Remember that preventing dental complications is always easier, cheaper, and overall better than correcting them according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Visit the Pediatric Dentist Regularly
Our own American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends you schedule an appointment with a professional by your child’s first birthday. The idea is to have additional help when supervising your baby’s oral health progress and development. Consulting with a dental health professional also helps determine if your kid will need any additional procedures in the future.
Regular visits to the dentist will help spot any problems like dental cavities as soon as they appear avoiding the need for other costly restorative treatments.
In our case, you can also rely on Dr. Patterson to help with your child’s dental development all the way through their teens. We can start work early to avoid major orthodontic complications and significantly reduce treatment length during your child’s teen years. If your kid has severe jaw structure developmental complications, Dr. Belegratis is specially trained to perform invasive surgical procedures aiming to improve the patient’s health.
All this is even easier for your child if they start visiting a pediatric dentist from a young age, strengthening the bond between a patient and their dentist thanks to that special training in pediatrics.
Limit Certain Foods and Drinks
As a child’s teeth are developing, overly sugary and acidic foods can cause a lot of harm to their enamel and health. Although many people typically think the only drink that should be avoided is soda, other drinks like artificial fruit juices and sports drinks can also be harmful to teeth because of their high sugar content. You do not have to eliminate these drinks from your child’s diet, but it is a good idea to limit them. The main beverages that your child should be drinking are water and milk.
It is important to remember that young children develop good habits when they are taught them and when they see others doing the same. As a parent, it is good to teach your child discipline and show them the correct way to do things. This is how children will follow your daily routine and try to mimic it. If you show them that brushing twice a day and flossing each night as a family can be fun, they will be more likely to participate in the activity! It is also essential to teach them the reason behind these actions to understand why they are doing them.
Health Complications Due to Poor Oral Hygiene
Come back next time as we continue our discussion on how helping your child develop good oral hygiene habits can help prevent other common dental health complications.
Contact Epic Dentistry for Kids
If you’d like to learn more about the dental services we offer, give us a call at (720)-644-1111 or fill out this form.