Health Beat: Children and Dental Care: Tips for Parents | health beat
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The CDC says 42% of children ages 2-11 have had cavities in their baby teeth, and 21% of children ages 6-11 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. . So what can parents do to prevent cavities and promote a healthy smile for their little ones?
Work…meal prep…homework…playtime. Parents are busy! Add to that the management of your child’s dental care and the life of a parent becomes more hectic. But there are ways to make dental care easier for your children and for you. Start first with the right toothbrush.
“The industry has done a great job developing, for example, toothbrushes in fun colors, different types of floss that are more child-friendly,” said Jacqueline Moroco, DDS, MS, CEO of Moroco Orthodontics.
Brushing is the most important method of preventing cavities, but finding the right toothbrush for your child can be difficult with so many different options available. A good place to start is to look for a toothbrush with soft, polished bristles.
Also, visit the dentist regularly. According to the CDC, children who start seeing the dentist at age five have 40% lower dental costs over a five-year period.
Dr. Moroco told Ivanhoe, “The relationship with the dentist is really important; parents find the right person for their child, you know, not all offices are created equal.
Some other tips for parents to encourage good dental care for their children: brush their teeth together, set a timer for two minutes so your children know how long to brush their teeth, ask your child practice brushing your teeth on a doll or stuffed animal and create a reward system. Add a sticker for each day they brush their teeth without complaining. When they reach a certain number of stickers, they can get a toy or a trip to the zoo.
The biggest mistake some parents make is letting their child brush their teeth alone. Since most children don’t have the motor skills to brush their teeth effectively until age eight, parents should supervise brushing and check that every surface of every tooth is clean.