Keeping Children in Excellent Dental Health

National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is not just about expressing love; it’s also the perfect time to focus on the health of our little ones’ smiles! During National Children’s Dental Health Month, we are dedicated to educating our future patients and those who care for them on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. As we know from a peek at the American Dental Association’s (ADA) resourceful website, setting time aside to specifically focus on children’s oral healthcare began almost 85 years ago in Ohio. It started in February as a one-day event in Cleveland and a one-week event in Akron. Over time, this local initiative became a national celebration for the entire month.

This year, as in prior years, Colony Square Dental Associates has taken our commitment to children’s oral health beyond the office walls. Dr. Diora and members of our clinical team visited two pre-kindergarten and younger elementary-aged children at local schools. Valuable lessons were provided along with a good bit of participation from the children who were on board by sharing all they knew about teeth.

Dr. Diora read Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth by Dr. Ben Magleby. She also demonstrated proper tooth-brushing techniques on a longtime Drs. Hochberg, Diora or To (CSDA) resident, Dudley, a stuffed animal, making the learning experience both fun and informative. The children went home with goodies to share with those at home about their dental health day.

Of course, at CSDA we don’t wait until February to help provide information on both the tools available and the techniques to teach the children that will optimize oral health. However, this year’s theme, “Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles!” provides a perfect opportunity for us to offer just a few of our valuable tips to keep the next generation’s smiles shining bright.

Tips for a Healthy Smile

  • Gently, clean your baby’s gums – even before their first tooth erupts – with a clean, soft damp cloth or piece of gauze.
  • Schedule a visit to our dental office before the baby’s first birthday or once you see that first tooth pop through. Your child will enjoy a ride in the chair and become familiar with visits to the dentist. Continue with visits every 6 months.
  • Begin brushing the first few new teeth with a small-head child’s toothbrush with soft bristles. The specially sized brush makes it easier on the child, and once a full complement of teeth has erupted it’ll be easier to reach the posterior areas.
  • Choose the appropriate toothpaste, selecting one as ADA-approved, which will contain fluoride. A small amount is sufficient. The ADA says to use the “size of a piece of rice”.
  • Decide when to encourage your little ones to brush their teeth themselves. Fluoride toothpaste protects the teeth, but should not be swallowed. Careful monitoring when this task is taken over by children is recommended. Learning to rinse and spit out does take some practice.
  • Switch from a manual toothbrush to a child’s electric toothbrush and when.
  • Teach techniques to floss between their teeth.
  • Incorporate games to make brushing a fun event. Our dental hygienists are happy to provide dental games and worksheets so your little one gets 4 stars on their brushing report card.
  • Protect molars with a fluoride application. In conjunction with our dental hygienists, we encourage you to discuss this topical treatment and its use to help protect teeth from decay.
  • Discuss what can cause decay early on in life and how to avoid damage to their ‘baby teeth’. Though not visible, teeth are present at birth, residing in the jaw until your child is about 6-7 months old. Along with sleeping with a bottle, which can cause the teeth to decay, other issues can create dental disease before your new baby has their first bite of adult food.
  • Select not only dental-friendly foods and drinks, as well as a balanced healthy diet but also learn the importance of timing. When your child eats and then brushes and flosses, it ensures that from birth through adulthood, good dietary and dental hygiene habits are developed that last a lifetime.

As we finish our celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s unite in our commitment to fostering good oral health habits in the next generation. Drs. Hochberg, Diora or To along with the entire team at CSDA are here to support you in every step of your child’s dental health journey. Please feel free to reach out to us at Colony Square Dental Associates, Atlanta Phone Number 404-874-6464 with any questions and when it’s time we’re here to schedule your child’s visit.

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