Part of the mission of Dr. Victor Oelbaum & Associates is to educate patients on the importance of good dental health. For both functional and aesthetic reasons, good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can go a long way in maintaining a healthy, fresh, and beautiful smile.
A large number of studies and research conducted over the years confirm that good oral hygiene and routine dental care should be started as early in life as possible. Research has shown that the most common chronic disease in American children is tooth decay, afflicting nearly 50 percent of those in the first grade and 80 percent of adolescents aged 17. According to the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, an estimated 52 million school hours will be missed and about 12.5 million days of restricted activity will be incurred because of oral health problems. Early dental treatment and preventative oral care can work wonders at improving the health, self-image, and achievement of your child.
Parents can ensure their children are practicing good dental hygiene by introducing proper oral care early in life – even in infancy. Some tips from the American Dental Hygiene Association include:
- Clean your baby’s gums after each feeding with a wet infant cloth to remove food and stimulate the gum tissue.
- When your baby’s teeth start coming through, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean the teeth.
- Proper brushing techniques should be taught at about age 2 or 3; and later, both brushing and flossing routines.
- Regular checkups with a dentist should be scheduled to check for cavities and possible developmental dental problems.
- Children should be encouraged to talk about any fears or anxieties they have about visiting the dentist; however, words like “pain” or “hurt” should be avoided, as they could instill the possibility of discomfort in a child’s thought process.
- You should determine if your home water supply is fluoridated. If it is not, you can discuss fluoride supplement options with your dentist or dental hygienist.
- Talk with your dentist or hygienist about dental sealants to protect your child’s chewing surfaces. Also, ask him or her about bottle tooth decay, a condition which can occur when the teeth are frequently exposed to sugared liquids.
Please contact Dr. Victor Oelbaum & Associates for more information on maintaining good dental health habits for your children. Our dentists can help you keep your children’s teeth and gums healthy and bright!