Fun Fact: The American Dental Association observed its first Children’s Dental Health Day on February 3rd, 1941. It was such a big hit that in 1955 they stretched it to a full week, and in 1981 they expanded it to last the entire month. February has been National Children’s Dental Health Month ever since, and this year’s theme is “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!” You can get more information about this great campaign via the ADA website.
JB Orthodontics’ goal has always been to help you attain your perfect smile AND optimum oral health. And this year’s NCDHM theme is right ‘inline’ with that! So below are some key tips for early childhood dental health to set your child up for long-term smile success.
You are never too young to establish good oral hygiene habits. Especially when you consider that the 20 primary teeth most babies get are already present within their jaws at birth. During the first three years of a child’s life, starting as early as six months, those teeth emerge and set-up residence in your child’s mouth for an average of 8 to 10 years. These teeth are crucial for chewing, speaking, and holding their space for the permanent adult teeth that are growing under the gumlines. If a child loses a tooth too soon due to injury or decay, the permanent teeth can drift into the space prematurely and create a more challenging corrective treatment plan.
So, for our littlest future patients, we encourage the following easy steps.
- Birth – first tooth: Wipe your child’s gums clean several times a day with a soft silicone brush. Try to avoid the common risk factors for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
- First Tooth – Age 3: As soon as the first tooth makes an appearance, establish a good pediatric dentist relationship and begin a routine of brushing their teeth for them twice a day. You can use some of these fun songs or cute toys to help keep your children engaged.
- Age 3 – Age 6: Children should be able to begin brushing their own teeth with parental supervision to help remind them not to swallow any toothpaste. Use a fun timer to make it a game!
- Age 7 – Up: Maintain your regular cleaning schedule with your child’s dentist & use a guard during all sports Also, many children can begin corrective treatment of any occlusions in their smile starting as young as eight years of age. Early intervention can make a huge difference in the final outcome of brace treatment!
- At ALL Times – Choose a nutritious diet, use ADA approved products, and HYDRATE! Many municipal water sources contain the fluoride recommended to prevent tooth decay. You can also find safe levels of fluoride in ADA approved toothpaste and mouthwash as well.
As always, we here at JB Orthodontics are committed to creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages. That starts in infancy and hopefully ends with you in our office, showing off your brand new smile!
Any advice herein is NOT meant to replace the advice of your personal orthodontist but is offered solely for educational purposes. Please follow our blog to learn more about the artistry of smile design, and we hope you contact our offices today to book a consultation in either of our two convenient Fairfield County locations in either Stamford or Norwalk.
Be Well and Smile Bright!