February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! With all of the health concerns that apply to children, including frequent visits to the doctor for check ups and shots, sometimes children’s oral health can get lost in the mix. This month is a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to better inform themselves on the importance of oral health in the health of their children.
Let’s talk about a few facts concerning children’s oral health you might not have know.
Did You Know?
- Tooth decay is the leading chronic infections disease among children in the United States today.
- About 60% of children will experience tooth decay by age 5.
- “Children with tooth decay are far more likely to develop immediate and long term oral health issues, including pain, infections, difficult speakings, eating food, tooth discoloration and even tooth loss.”
- Earl Childhood Caries (ECC) is a form of tooth decay that affects very young children and acts very quickly. It is on the rise.
- Most pediatric dentists recommend that children see a pediatric dentist in their first year of life. However, few actually do. 40% of parents and caregivers don’t take their child to the dentist for the first time until after their second birthday.
- There aren’t enough dentists available who are skilled in treatment for children. Children covered by Medicaid have even more difficulty receiving the dental care they need.
- In order to be a pediatric dentist, dentists need 2-3 years of specialized training after dental school. “Upon learning about additional training, nearly 100% are likely to seek out a pediatric dentist for their child.”
- “Children with oral health problems are three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain than children with no oral health problems.”
Two Tips for Children’s Oral Health
- One concept that few parents and caregivers aware of is that of the dental home. This is your home base for all of your child’s oral health care needs. Children can get a little uneasy with frequent health care visits, so it’s important to take your child to a dentist he or she is comfortable and familiar with on a regular basis.
- Second, start teaching your child about oral health as soon as they get their first tooth! The sooner those habits are ingrained, the better your child’s oral health will be!
Visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s “Mouth Monsters” page for more information on children’s oral health.
Call Olney Dental at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online for an appointment. And don’t forget to visit Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube to connect with us on social media.