• 25 MAY 17
    • 0

    Early Childhood Tooth Decay: Is Your Child at Risk?

    Early Childhood Tooth Decay - Is Your Child at RiskDental decay is the most common chronic disease in American children. Here’s why:

    • Many parents don’t know when to take their child to the dentist for the first time. In fact, 25 percent of kindergartners still have never been to the dentist.
    • Parents don’t know when and how to start caring for their child’s teeth at home.
    • Sugary drinks such as milk, juice, and soda are popular among young children.

    To prevent putting your child at unnecessary risk of early childhood tooth decay, follow these tips.

    Find a Kid-Friendly Family Dentist

    Children should start seeing the dentist around age 1, or as soon as their first tooth erupts. The most important part of the first visit to our office is becoming familiar with Dr. Evanson and her staff. Your child will sit in your lap in the exam room while Dr. Evanson performs a quick oral exam. She will offer personalized advice about keeping your child’s teeth healthy and answer any questions you have about proper child dental care.

    Finding the right dentist can be a challenge, but we’re confident you’ll love our child-friendly office. We’re dedicated to providing dental care for the entire family, so your child can grow up visiting the same familiar office. If you want, you can even have your teeth cleaned at the same time as your child. A single appointment for the whole family saves time and simplifies your schedule.

    Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Home

    Regular dentist visits are important to avoid early childhood tooth decay, but make sure you also take good care of your child’s teeth at home between appointments. Start with these tips related to the way your child eats and drinks:

    • Cut down on sugary treats between meals.
    • Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in sugar, maple syrup, or corn syrup.
    • Only put water, milk, or formula in baby bottles, and ditch the bottle completely by age 1.
    • If you choose to give your child juice in a sippy cup, dilute it by half with water.
    • Offer a straw with diluted sugary beverages to help the drink bypass your child’s teeth.
    • Don’t give your toddler soda, a drink with lots of sugar, artificial ingredients, and no nutritional value.
    • Don’t allow your child to carry a juice box around all day. This continually introduces sugar into the mouth, which eats away at your child’s teeth.
    • Avoid giving your infant sugary drinks right before bed.
    • Never allow your child to go to sleep with a bottle containing anything but water. During sleep, saliva flow significantly decreases, so harmful bacteria thrive if any sugar clings to your child’s teeth at bedtime.

    Promote Good Oral Hygiene in Your Child

    Watching what your child eats and drinks is a big step toward avoiding early childhood tooth decay. For the best results, you should also implement these good oral hygiene tips from a very young age:

    • Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after each feeding and at bedtime.
    • When the first tooth appears, begin brushing it with a soft child toothbrush and no toothpaste. Continue to wipe the gums after each feeding and before bed.
    • Once baby teeth start erupting next to each other, floss between them daily.
    • For children ages 2 to 5, use a pea-size amount of child toothpaste and assist with brushing the teeth. Encourage your child to spit rather than swallow the toothpaste.
    • Allow your child to start brushing unassisted around age 5 or 6.

    Visit Dr. Evanson with Your Child Today

    Bring your child to Evanson DDS for her first dentist appointment around age 1 and every six months after that. We’ll help you feel comfortable in our office and give you a tour at your request so you can decide if this is the right place for you. Our goal is to help the whole family achieve healthy smiles!

    For more information about our office, or to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact Evanson DDS online or call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008.

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