Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Start Early for Good Oral Health Habits

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Feb 24, 2014.

(Family Features) You may wonder whether it's important to take care of your child's first teeth, which will fall out in early childhood. However, healthy adult teeth start with healthy teeth during childhood. That's why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

A baby's 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaw at birth. Baby teeth that begin coming through the gums around six months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recommended by their dentist.

To help ensure you are well prepared to provide your little one a lifetime of good dental health, the experts at Ameritas offer this information about the leading oral health concerns for youngsters:

Cavities. Early childhood caries (cavities) is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Tooth pain keeps many children home from school or distracts them from learning.

Consumption of sugary foods, soda, juice or energy drinks increases the risk for tooth decay and gum disease, so minimizing these items is an important aspect of dental health. It's also important to always brush teeth twice daily for two minutes and floss once a day.

Another option to protect children's teeth is sealants, which act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars after the teeth erupt and are completely above the gum. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants.

Sports Injuries. Mouth guards can help protect children from a dental emergency. They should be worn whenever children participate in sports and recreational activities. Mouth guards cushion blows that can otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face, and even jaw fractures. Mouth guards are available at many retail stores or may be custom-made by a dentist.

Jaw and bite problems. Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked, out of alignment or the jaws don't meet properly. This may become particularly noticeable between ages six and 12, when a child's permanent teeth are developing.

If not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean where teeth are crooked or crowded, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease. Bad bites can also affect proper jaw development, making protruding teeth at risk for chips and fractures. It can also affect eating and speaking, and make some teeth more likely to wear abnormally or faster than those that are properly aligned.

Teaching children good oral hygiene habits early is a simple way to create a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles. Remember, modeling your own good oral hygiene habits not only reinforces your advice, it improves your own dental health.

For more information on children's dental health visit the dental section at www.ameritasinsight.com, where you also can find out how recent health care reforms affect dental insurance.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists