National Children’s Dental Health Month

Hi Critters, Oswald here!

We love the Month of February at Children’s Dental Care. Why? Well, it is National Children’s Dental Health month! That means we get to take our dental education one step further this month.

Unfortunately, caries, aka cavities, are the number one cause for kids to miss school. In fact, it is the number one childhood disease. A disease sounds scary, doesn’t’ it? The good thing about this disease, is that it is 100 percent preventable. While this is GREAT news, we do have to put consistent effort into the care of our body in order to prevent childhood cavities.

Cavities come from a triad of things: Diet, homecare, and genetics. Let’s break it down!

What are we eating and drinking? Kids especially LOVE to snack. While we don’t want to discourage healthy snacking, we do want to discourage snacking all day on foods that are high in carbohydrates. Snacks such as goldfish, crackers, Cheez-its, granola bars, and even dried fruits can become culprits for early tooth decay. Sticking with foods that are firm in texture like carrots, celery, and cucumbers are a great option, and foods that are easy on the teeth like cheese and meats with a low sugar content are also better options.

You may here us preach “water in between meals” all day every day in the office. While it may get repetitive, it is really the best option for hydration. Water between meals helps wash away food debris, without adding any extra sugars to it. It also helps keep the oral cavity moist. The more saliva/water that you have, the less prone to dental decay you will be!

Good home care can make ya or break ya! Brushing twice a day is what the recommendation is from the American Dental Association. However, technique is also important.  We advise brushing in slow, gentle circles over the gum lines. We want to make our teeth happy, AND our gums happy too. And don’t forget flossing and fluoride toothpaste! Fluoride is a key factor in a caries prevention regimen due to the re-mineralization qualities.

And then we have good ole genetics… our favorite! This is the part that is a tad bit out of our control. Every person has a very specific micro biome, and in their microbiome, there are specific types of bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli are the leaders in cavity-causing bacteria. Some folks naturally have more aggressive strains of the cavity-causing bacteria in their mouth, putting them at a higher risk for dental decay. In addition, the anatomy of one’s tooth structure and alignment can also be a factor. The more crowding there is, the more nooks and crannies there are to trap bacteria and debris.

In order to keep our kids’ teeth decay free, follow these easy steps from the ADA!

  1. Brushing your teeth 2x a day with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Clean between your teeth daily
  3. Eat healthy foods and limit sugary beverages
  4. See us at Children’s Dental Care 2x a year for dental exams and cleanings!

Remember, healthy habits create healthy smiles!

Stay flossy,

Oswald