National Children’s Dental Health Month is meant to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.
Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. The good news is there are safe and effective preventive measures that can protect teeth. Good oral hygiene practices such as thorough brushing with a fluoride toothpaste (ages 2+) can help keep children from getting cavities. In addition, dental sealants and community water fluoridation are two other strategies that can help prevent tooth decay.
Here are more ways to set your children up for a lifetime of good oral health and reduce the risk of tooth decay:
• Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
• Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
• If your children chew gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
• Monitor beverage consumption. Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also choose water and low-fat milk.
• Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
• Schedule regular dental visits.